Of all pregnancies anywhere, 15 percent will have a potentially fatal complication. In the developing world, having a baby will be the riskiest thing many women will do. Yet in half of all cases, mothers there deliver without any skilled attendant. Often, only their mother-in-law is present. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, a woman has a lifetime risk of 1 in 39 of dying from pregnancy-related complications.
Globally, an estimated 295,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2017 (latest information available). In Uganda, where the Save the Mothers program is based, there are 363 deaths per 100,000 births. In Canada, a country with roughly the same population, there are 8.3 deaths per 100,000 births.
One in four women who die during childbirth simply bleed to death. This can often be prevented by a medication that costs less than 99 cents.