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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More