Maternal deaths remain above UN target

1,000 women still die needlessly every day

Maternal deaths have fallen 34 per cent over the past 20 years, but 1,000 women still die needlessly every day, according to the World Health Organization. In poorer countries, women are 36 times more likely to die from complications during pregnancy, Reuters reports; about 99 per cent of the 358,000 maternal deaths in 2008 were in developing countries, more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. To hit the UN target, there would need to be an annual decline in deaths of 5.5 per cent until 2015, although the rate of decline since 1990 was 2.3 per cent. The four major causes of maternal deaths are severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders and unsafe abortions.


Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.