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99%: The proportion of maternal deaths that occur in developing countries

Millennium Development Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
Target: Reduce by three- quarters, between  1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate

It is estimated that each year more than half a million women – roughly one woman every minute – die as a result of pregnancy complications and childbirth. Some 99 per cent of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, with over 90 per cent of those in Africa and Asia. Two thirds of maternal deaths in 2000 occurred in 13 of the world’s poorest countries. The same year, India alone accounted for one quarter of all maternal deaths. One out of every 16 sub-Saharan African women will die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, compared to just 1 out of every 4,000 in industrialized countries. Moreover, motherless newborns are between 3 and 10 times more likely to die than newborns whose mothers survive.

Many of these women’s lives could be saved if they had access to basic health care services, including skilled attendants at all births and emergency obstetric care for women who develop complications.

Source: UNICEF, The State of The World’s Children 2007, New York, 2006.

Note: Antenatal care coverage refers to the percentage of women aged 15–24 attended at least once during pregnancy by a skilled attendant (doctor, nurse or midwife). Data on antenatal care coverage are not available for industrialized countries. Skilled attendant at delivery refers to the percentage of births attended y skilled health personnel (doctors, nurses or midwives).

*Data: Data refer to the most recent year available during the period specified.

Source: Demographic and Health Surveys, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, World Health Organization and UNICEF. The underlying data can be found in the Statistical Tables of this report, page 98.

Note: The lifetime risk of maternal death takes into account both the probability of becoming pregnant and the probability of dying as a result of that pregnancy, accumulated across a women's reproductive years.

Source: World Health Organization and UNICEF. The underlying data can be found in the Statistical Tables of this report, page 98.


 

 

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