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Fact of the week



84: Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounted for 84 per cent of global maternal deaths in 2005

Millennium Development Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Target: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio 

Globally, more than half a million women die each year because of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Of the estimated 536,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2005, developing countries accounted for more than 99 per cent. About half of the maternal deaths (265,000) occurred in sub-Saharan Africa alone and one third took place in South Asia (187,000).

Thus, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounted for 84 per cent of global maternal deaths, with haemorrhage the leading cause of death in these regions. Sepsis, prolonged or obstructed labour, the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, especially eclampsia, and complications of unsafe abortion, claim further lives. 

Source: Khan, Khalid S., et al., ‘WHO Analysis of Causes of Maternal Death: A systematic review’, The Lancet, vol. 367, p. 1069, 1 April 2006. 

Reference: http://www.childinfo.org/maternal_mortality.html




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