1. A woman in sub-Saharan Africa has a 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth.
2. 99% of deaths related to complications during childbirth occur in developing countries.
3. Every minute, a women dies from complications related to childbirth.
4. In developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading causes (after HIV/AIDS) of death among women of reproductive age.
5. Five main killers cause more than 70% of maternal deaths worldwide: severe bleeding, infections, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders and obstructed labor. Postpartum bleeding can kill even a healthy woman, if unattended, within two hours. Most of these deaths are preventable.
6. More than 136 million women give birth a year. About 20 million of them experience pregnancy-related illness after childbirth. The list of morbidities is long and diverse.
7. The state of maternal health mirrors the gap between the rich and the poor. Only 1% of maternal deaths occur in high-income countries. For example, a woman's lifetime risk of dying from complications in childbirth or pregnancy is about one in seven in Niger and one in 48 000 in Ireland.
8. About 18 million unsafe abortions are carried out in developing countries every year, resulting in 70 000 maternal deaths. Many of these deaths could be prevented if information on contraceptives and family planning were available and put into practice.
9. Women die every minute due to complications during childbirth or even pregnancy.
10. 23% of pregnant women have no access to antenatal care before delivery.
11. There are 39% of women who have to give birth without a doctor or skilled attendant present.
12. 500,000 maternal deaths that occur annually due to childbirth or labor are preventable.
Websites We Like:
Promoting Safe Motherhood through Simple, Life-saving Interventions
Laxmi almost lost her life due to postpartum hemorrhage, which is excessive bleeding during the first 24 hours after birth. Though such bleeding cannot be predicted, risk factors for it include poor health status, lack of access to a skilled birth attendant, delayed decision making by heads of households, and poor referral networks within communities and across health care facilities.
While giving birth in her home, she began bleeding excessively. The traditional birth attendant and her family did not know what to do. After a terrifying five hours, Laxmi's family finally brought her to the hospital where she received two liters of blood and underwent surgery. Fortunately, Laxmi made it to the hospital in time... many women aren't so lucky.
The importance of Laxmi’s story is to promote, develop, and adapt simple policy and service-delivery guidelines and by raising awareness among health care providers and communities, especially in developing countries. Many organizations, such as Engenderhealth are working toward this goal in collaborating an innovative global partnership. For example, the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage Initiative (POPPHI), promotes "active management of the third stage of labor" (AMTSL)—a simple, proven, low-cost intervention that health care providers can perform on every woman at every birth to help prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
“In 2005, there were an estimated 536 000 maternal deaths worldwide.”
Organization for Change:
UNICEF and WHO (World Health Organization) are both organizations working towards improving maternal health.