President, Perinatal Society of Sri Lanka, Consultant Community Physician, Dr Kapiala Jayaratne, yesterday said that annually 48,000 miscarriages and an average of 3,250 perinatal deaths occurred in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the media, at a seminar conducted in view of ‘World Birth Defects Day,’ at the Health Promotion Bureau, Dr Jayaratne, said the number included 1,700 still births 1,550 neonatal deaths (during the first four weeks after birth). However, the cause of over 35 per cent of perinatal mortality had not been identified yet.
Dr Jayaratne said that by performing a postmortem the recurrence of such unfortunate deaths could be averted. He said the birth defects could occur due to genetic conditions, environment conditions and maternal illnesses during pregnancy.
Dr. Jayaratne stressed the need to establish the cause of death even amongst still birth and neonatal deaths. There were 60 hospitals in the country which were equipped to carry out those seemingly impossible postmortems.