Women Deliver

January 20, 2008

I just ‘found’ this post in my drafts list and was struck again by the numbers. Although I’m sure the reason it hasn’t been posted is because I was going to add some thoughts based on my own experience as a mother, nurse and volunteer in the developing world- but I don’t think it really needs it. Just read and reflect on the implications for yourself (the italics are mine).

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.


Click here for more.


Original article by Joanne Omang
From The Global Health Council

3 Responses to “Women Deliver”

  1. benjamin ady Says:

    this is very depressing. Help me out here. What can I do to *fix* it?

  2. Sharon Says:

    I wish I knew Benjamin. Asking those sorts of questions is how I ended up in development studies. Maybe once I’ve completed my PhD I’ll have some clue…. (cue ironic laughter as I am more confused than ever after the Masters degree).

    Perhaps the only ‘advice’ I can give (short of studying midwifery and spending the rest of your life in developing countries) is to support organisations you trust who are working with women in developing countries.

  3. womendeliver Says:

    Hi- check out the on-going campaign at http://www.womendeliver.org.

    It is ordinary people over the world working together who are helping women to make parenthood everything we would hope it to be; not a death sentence for women.

    Blogging helps; so does writing your local paper and your elected officials. In fact, safe motherhood just made global headlines again as part of the World Economic Forum- help spread the word!


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