Friday, July 18, 2008

Maternal Mortality

As the world marked International Women’s Day on March 8th, international agency Oxfam highlights the shocking conditions for millions of women giving birth. In sub-Saharan Africa for instance, they still face a one in sixteen chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth. Niger, one of the poorest countries in Africa, is the most dangerous place to give birth with women facing an astonishing one in seven chance of dying.

More on the issue of maternal mortality:

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More statistics:
The risk of a woman dying as a result of pregnancy or childbirth during her lifetime is about 1 in 8 in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone compared with fewer than 1 in 17,400 in Sweden.

Most maternal deaths (61 per cent) take place during labour, delivery or in the immediate post-partum period. Some 3.4 million newborns die within the first week of life.

Main sources for this page were The Lancet's Maternal Survival Series (2006), the 2005 World Health Report: Make Every Mother and Child Count (WHO), and WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA maternal mortality estimates from 2000.


Foley US Hist said...

These statistics were extremely startling to me. In America it seems like maternal mortality is a thing of the past - it just doesn't seem to happen. I think the widespread instances of poverty, malnutrition, and war in all these countries are the reasons this happens. I know it's a cultural thing, but I honestly think that these women should get the help they deserve in order to survive. The widespread instances of being infected with Aids obviously doesn't help as well. There seriously needs to be something done about this problem.

The projects I have completed:
1. Boweling for columbine
2. Miniature Earth
3. 1968 - Hippies
4. RATM- Sleep Now in the Fire, I picked my own song
5. Under "how stupid are we" I talked about the political compass quiz
6. Hopefully this if it gets approved

Lea Hansen-George said...

foley- Did you happen to find any statistics on maternal mortality in the United States? I wonder what the breakdown is according to race and class.

Foley US Hist said...

The untied states ranks 41st in a survey of 171 countries in Maternal death. I found that surprising because we are supposed to be just about the most industrialized country in the world, yet we have such a high ranking death rate for mothers during labor. The equals to about one in 4,800 births where the mother has a chance of dieing. Black women are about 4x more likely to have then than white women. One of the major factors in out country contributing to this is high obesity and hypertension rate, whereas in other countries poverty, lack of health care, and malnutrition are the reasons.

Lea Hansen-George said...

foley - Interesting. I'm happy you decided to explore this topic a little further. Your time reading, watching videos and doing additional research on the topic - and commenting - counts as a project.

Not only did you learn a little more about this issue, but you learned a little Geography as well.

Speaking of geography, I included a map link on the blog post dealing with malnutrition. I think it is a Doctors without Borders link. Anyway, the map highlights areas in the world where malnutrition is a significant problem.

I know after looking into the issues of infant and maternal mortality, malnutrition and the conflict diamond issue, I've learned a lot about the geography of the African continent.