According to a 2005 survey, one in 10 pregnant women die during abortion procedures in Myanmar.
THE Ministry of Health has started offering a foundation course in midwifery in an effort to reduce the number of fatal pregnancies, fatal abortion procedures and fatal birthings.
The World Bank provided a loan for the project implemented by the health ministry in cooperation with partner organisations this year, said Dr Theingi Myint, Director of the Maternal and Reproductive Health Unit of the Public Health Department.
The project will continue into next year. It aims to train midwives from every region and state. There are around 12,000 midwives in the country.
Abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in Myanmar. According to a 2005 study into the matter one in 10 pregnant mothers dies during abortion procedures, mostly in the Ayeyawady and Magway regions. The health ministry aims to reduce the rate of abortions performed in those areas.
Myanmar is included on the list of developing nations with a high mortality rate for pregnant women and children under five.
According to the World Health Organisation, over 20 million women experience an unsafe abortion worldwide each year.
There is no exact data in Myanmar but doctors say many poor, uneducated women undergo dangerous abortion procedures to avoid increasing the burden on their families.