UN: A woman dies from pregnancy or delivery every two minutes

The most recent figures, published on Thursday in a report by UN agencies, state that a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth every two minutes.

Maternal deaths have either gone up or down in almost every region of the globe in recent years, according to the report, “Trends in maternal mortality,” alarming declines in women’s health.

“While pregnancy should be a time of immense hope and a positive experience for all women, it is tragically still a shockingly dangerous experience for millions around the world who lack access to high quality, respectful health care,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“These new statistics reveal the urgent need to ensure every woman and girl has access to critical health services before, during and after childbirth, and that they can fully exercise their reproductive rights,” he added.

According to the report, there were an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2020. It records maternal deaths locally, nationally, and internationally from 2000 to 2020. Compared to 309,000 in 2016, the year the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted, this represents a merely marginal decline. Although the report shows some notable progress in lowering maternal deaths between 2000 and 2015, after this time, gains largely stalled or, in some instances, even reversed.

Maternal death rates rose between 2016 and 2020 in two of the eight UN regions—Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and Northern America—by 17% and 15%, respectively. The cost stayed the same elsewhere.

However, the study acknowledges that advancement is feasible.

For instance, 31 nations worldwide and two regions—Australia and New Zealand and Central and Southern Asia—saw significant drops in their maternal mortality rates over the same time span (by 35% and 16%, respectively).

“For millions of families, the miracle of childbirth is marred by the tragedy of maternal deaths,” said Unicef Executive Director Catherine Russell.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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