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

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

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