Improving Maternal Health: Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Developing Countries
minute a woman dies during labor or delivery. Approximately 529,000 women die from
pregnancy related causes annually and almost all (99%) of these maternal deaths
occur in developing nations. The highest maternal mortality rates are in Africa,
with a lifetime risk of 1 in 16; the lowest rates are in western nations (1:2800),
with a global ratio of 400 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Causes of maternal
mortality include postpartum hemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labor, sepsis, unsafe
abortion, ectopic pregnancy, embolism etc. During the past years, increased recognition
of these problems has led to the ‘Safe Motherhood Initiative’ by the World Health
Organization in 1987, which was integrated into the goal of “Health for All in the
year 2000.’’ 45% of postpartum deaths occur within the first 24 hours and 66% occur
during the first week. Of the estimated 211 million pregnancies, 46 million result
in induced abortions. 60% of these abortions are unsafe and cause 68,000 deaths
annually. With appropriate strategy and intensive implementation programs, some
countries have made remarkable progress, not including many developing countries.
Many developing nations face extreme challenges in the implementation of these strategies
including lack of reliable data, shortage in human and financial resources, limited
political commitment, pregnant women have minimal access to skilled labor and emergency
care. Basic emergency obstetric interventions such as antibiotics. Oxytocins, anticonvulsants,
manual removal of placenta and instrumental vaginal delivery are vital to improve
the chance of survival.
Health, Maternal Death, Maternal Morbidity, Ante natal Care, Emergency Obstetrics
Care, Push and Pull factors, Brain drain
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