Opinions on Maternal death

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Maternal death is defined as "The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes."

The world mortality rate has declined 45% since 1990, but still 800 women die every day from pregnancy or childbirth related causes. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) this is equivalent to “about one woman every two minutes and for every woman who dies, 20 or 30 encounter complications with serious or long-lasting consequences. Most of these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.”

UNFPA estimated that 289,000 women died of pregnancy or childbirth related causes in 2013. These causes range from severe bleeding to obstructed labour, all of which have highly effective interventions. As women have gained access to family planning and skilled birth attendance with backup emergency obstetric care, the global maternal mortality ratio has fallen from 380 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 210 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013. This has resulted in many countries halving their maternal death rates.

While there has been a decline in world-wide mortality rates, much more has to be done. High rates still exist, particularly in impoverished communities with over 85% living in Africa and Southern Asia. The effect of a mother’s death results in vulnerable families and their infants, if they survive childbirth, are more likely to die before reaching their second birthday.


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