The Progress of Nations: Women

New estimates put toll at 585,000

Daily Toll Pie Chart

The new estimates put the worldwide total of maternal deaths at about 585,000 per year. The chart shows the toll by region.

Maternal deaths per year
Europe 3,000
Central Asia 14,000
Americas 23,000
M. East and N. Africa 35,000
Sub-Saharan Africa 219,000
Asia and Pacific 291,000
World 585,000

SOURCES Maternal mortality: WHO and UNICEF, January 1996 revised estimates (data around 1990). Births: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 1994 Revision, 1994.

15 million women are victims

The toll of injury and disability from pregnancy related causes is arguably the most neglected health problem in the world. For every woman who dies in childbirth, probably about 30 incur injuries and infections – many of which are often painful, disabling, embarrassing, and lifelong.

It is therefore likely that more than 15 million women a year fall victim to 'maternal morbidity', and that there are several hundred million women in the world today who have suffered or are suffering from the untreated and uncared-for consequences of injuries arising during pregnancy and childbirth.

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