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|
|M. East and N. Africa||35,000|
|Asia and Pacific||291,000|
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.
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.