Maternal health and non-communicable disease prevention: An investment case for the post COVID-19 world and need for better health economic data

Anil Kapur, Moshe Hod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

An integrated approach to population health, disease surveillance, and preventive care will dominate the health agenda in the post COVID-19 world. Because of their huge burden and the vulnerability imposed during a health crisis, prevention and care of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will need to be prioritized even further. Maternal and child health are inextricably linked with NCDs and their risk factors. The intergenerational impact of poor maternal nutrition and health conditions during pregnancy, particularly NCD-related pregnancy complications, can be considered as a multiplier of the ongoing pandemic of NCDs. The economic cost of poor maternal health and NCD-related pregnancy complications is likely very high, but is not adequately researched or documented in the context of long-term population health. Interventions to address NCDs in pregnancy have beneficial effects on short-term pregnancy outcomes; but even more importantly, identifying “at-risk” mothers and offspring opens up the opportunity for targeted early preventive action. Preventive actions to address obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases have a common lifestyle approach—identifying any one of these problems in pregnancy provides an opportunity to address them all. Cost–benefit analyses that only focus on the short-term and on one condition do not capture the full value of downstream, long-term benefits for population health. This requires urgent attention from FIGO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume150
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Health economics
  • Health system transformation
  • Maternal health
  • NCD pregnancy complications
  • Non-communicable diseases

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