New Study Says Maternal Deaths Have Been Halved, Progress Still Necessary

Maternity Ward – Siaya District Hospital – Kisumu, Kenya

A new study released this week from the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Bank reported that maternal deaths have been halved since 1990, but 800 mothers still die during childbirth or resulting from complications during childbirth each day. Four years ago a mother died from childbirth every four minutes, now women die of childbirth every two minutes.

There are key facts that can be found on the UNFPA web site including:

• In 2010, the global maternal mortality ratio was 210 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest maternal mortality ratio at 500 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

• In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman faces a 1 in 39 lifetime risk of dying due to pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. In South-eastern Asia the risk is 1 in 290 and in developed countries, it is 1 in 3,800.

• Ten countries have 60 per cent of the global maternal deaths: India (56,000), Nigeria (40,000), Democratic Republic of the Congo (15,000), Pakistan (12,000), Sudan (10,000), Indonesia (9,600), Ethiopia (9,000), United Republic of Tanzania (8,500), Bangladesh (7,200) and Afghanistan (6,400).

• Ten countries have already reached the MDG target of a 75 per cent reduction in maternal death: Belarus, Bhutan, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Iran, Lithuania, Maldives, Nepal, Romania and Viet Nam.

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