News / Health

WHO Study Reports Fewer Childbirth Deaths

World Health Organization study on maternal deaths
World Health Organization study on maternal deaths
Lisa Schlein
A new World Health Organization study finds maternal deaths due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth have been cut nearly in half over the past 24 years.  But WHO says most countries will not meet the 2015 Millennium Development goal of reducing maternal deaths by two-thirds. 

New U.N. data show 45 percent more mothers are surviving childbirth today than in 1990.  Last year,  289,000 women died from complications compared to 523,000 in 1990 the study found.

(Click here to see WHO's interactive map on maternal deaths)

A second related World Health Organization Study noted the causes of maternal deaths have changed.  In 1990, women were dying of bleeding, infections and high blood pressure in pregnancy.  The study found that now, more than one in four maternal deaths are due to pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity.

Marleen Temmerman, WHO's Director of Reproductive Health and Research co-authored the study.  She said the incidence of non-communicable diseases is increasing throughout the world, and that conditions such as obesity and diabetes get worse during pregnancy and can be life threatening.

Temmerman said Sub-Saharan Africa is still the riskiest region for dying of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

“If you look at what is the lifetime risk for a woman, for a girl to die during pregnancy and childbirth, then it is one in 40 in Sub-Saharan Africa as compared to one in 3,500 approximately, in, for example Europe or the Western world,” she said.

The World Health Organization says although steady progress is being made in reducing maternal deaths, there has been too little progress in preventing adolescent pregnancies, abortions, maternal deaths, sexually-transmitted infections and HIV in the last 20 years.

The lack of availability to quality comprehensive sexual education and services for young people, especially in poor countries is partially to blame, according to the study.  It noted that more than 15 million girls aged 15 - 19 give birth every year and that many of these pregnancies result from non-consensual sex.

According to the report, 10 countries account for about 60 percent of global maternal deaths.  They include India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, China, and Uganda.

The study said the highest lifetime risk of maternal death is in Somalia and Chad. Eleven countries are on track to achieve the MDG target of cutting maternal deaths by 75 percent.

WHO Coordinator of Adolescents and At-risk Populations Team, Lale Say, told VOA there is no magic formula in achieving these results. 

“For example, Rwanda - one of the biggest push for Rwanda to handle the maternal deaths has been to the scaling up family planning services nationwide and a big improvement in the use of contraception in family planning services," Say explained. 

Dr. Say said Cambodia cut its maternal death rate by increasing childbirth deliveries in health facilities and upgrading the skills of health workers.  Fewer mothers are dying in Nepal since it legalized abortions and has been encouraging women to give birth in health facilities, Say said.

According to WHO interventions such as access to family planning facilities and contraception, midwifery services and the availability of health workers and equipment and medicines can save the lives of women and their newborn babies.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid