A Fiji obstetrician is urging more young pregnant women to seek care earlier in order to make childbirth safer and reduce maternal mortality.
The first anniversary of Fiji's White Ribbon Safe Motherhood Initiative was celebrated at the country's nursing school last week to raise awareness of maternal health.
The Colonial War Memorial Hospital's head of Obstetrics, Dr James Fong, counters a suggestion that child birth is the leading cause of death in young women in Fiji but says a lack of early care is a factor in the deaths that do occur.
"One of the factors that does lead to difficult times for mothers in terms of mobility and mortality is not getting sufficient care in time for them especially for complications that relate to early pregnancy. And in many of the instances because early pregnancy is not recognised as a pregnancy in other words you get an abdominal pain it is not recognised as an abdominal pain in a pregnant woman it is just recognised as an abdominal pain."