Pregnancy and childbirth can be very different for mothers in third world countries. Whilst we are used to receiving top notch care from medical professionals throughout every stage of pregnancy this is not the case for many mothers.
Expectant mothers in third world countries can face many challenges, not just from the lack of maternity services available. At the moment there is a real crisis with toxic substances such as lead paint causing problems for mothers and their unborn babies. The World Health Organisation has estimated 600,000 new cases of intellectual disabilities caused by the high content of lead found in paints, and 143,000 deaths per year are attributed to this lethal paint ingredient.
Although many countries have banned lead in paint, poorer countries do not have the same regulatory powers or means of testing. Countries such as Cameroon, Egypt Nigeria and other African nations have had a problem with high levels of lead in paint. Lead in paint can contaminate the environment and can be found in soil and dust which means that young children are likely to breathe it in. There are many global organisations which are seeking to eradicate all lead from paint.
One of the main ways that foetal abnormalities are detected is through a diagnostic scan known as ultrasound. Ultrasound scans can monitor the growth and well-being of unborn babies and is something we take for granted in the Western world. Ultrasound technicians work within maternity units of hospitals or within private practices.
Ultrasound scan technicians are highly trained professionals who use specialised medical equipment which utilises sound wave technology. Ultrasound technicians can earn in the region of $65,860 per year which reflects the unsociable hours that sometimes need to be worked.
In third world countries mothers to be may not be able to have access to this technology which can lead to babies being born with abnormalities which could have been averted. The World Health Organisation is very proactive in mothers having access to medical diagnostic tests.
In western Countries we also have access to paediatricians. Pediatricians are doctors who specialise in the care of children. To become a paediatrician a medical degree is required, after which the doctor specialises in the area of childhood health and disease. Pediatricians can earn in the region of $155,000 per year.