Women Deliver – Addressing Maternal & Newborn Mortality

September 14, 2007

Every minute of every day, a woman still dies needlessly during pregnancy or childbirth, most in the developing world. Ten million women are still lost in every generation – our mothers and sisters, daughters and grandmothers, wives and partners, friends and neighbors. At the same time, 4 million newborn babies die every year, also from causes that are mainly preventable.

In this silent tragedy, huge disparities exist between rich and poor countries and between the rich and the poor in all countries. One in six Afghan women will die during pregnancy, compared to one in 2,500 in the United States and one in 29,800 in Sweden, according to 2000 figures from the World Health Organization – the greatest disparity in all the indicators WHO monitors.

Fully 42 percent of all pregnancies everywhere experience a complication during pregnancy and childbirth, and in 8 percent of all pregnancies, the complications are life-threatening. Survival rates depend upon the distance and time women must travel to get skilled medical care. Maternal mortality, defined as the death of a pregnant woman during her pregnancy or within 42 days of pregnancy termination, has dire consequences for the woman’s family, community and country.

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By Joanne Omang
From The Global Health Council


2 Responses to “Women Deliver – Addressing Maternal & Newborn Mortality”

  1. benjamin ady Says:

    isn’t paul farmer at the forefront of a really great plan to work on changing some of this?

  2. Sharon Says:

    Paul Farmer is my hero! Honestly, I think he is an incredible person, I admire his work and I love his books. I am actually reading his biography Mountains Beyond Mountains at the moment, and am planning to post about it here once I have finished it.
    I don’t know if he is doing anything around maternal and newborn health, although it wouldn’t surprise me. I know he is involved with the MDG’s (Millenium Development Goals)- I thought just the HIV/AIDs one but maybe the maternal/ newborn health one as well? I’ll have to check it out.

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