Every year 295,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes.
99% of these deaths occur in the developing world.
Why is this happening?
According to the World Health Organization:
The high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects inequities in access to health services, and highlights the gap between rich and poor. Almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries. More than half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and almost one third occur in South Asia.
Significant strides have been made in the last decade, and maternal mortality rates have fallen by more than 30 percent. Still, every day almost 808 women or girls die from something that is mostly preventable.
The risk of maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls under 15 years old and complications in pregnancy and childbirth is a leading cause of death among adolescent girls in developing countries.
Women in developing countries have, on average, many more pregnancies than women in developed countries, and their lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy is higher. A woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death – the probability that a 15 year old woman will eventually die from a maternal cause – is 1 in 4,900 in developed countries, versus 1 in 180 in developing countries. In countries designated as fragile states, the risk is 1 in 54; showing the consequences from breakdowns in health systems.