Maternal deaths drop worldwide
United Nations estimated that although pregnancy related deaths are few among women, around 1,000 die a day due to it, according to a report here yesterday.
The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34 percent from an estimated 546,000 in 1990 to 358,000 in 2008, it said.
The report titled "Trends in maternal mortality" was jointly released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank (WB), said a message received from Geneva.
The report said progress is notable but the annual rate of decline is less than half of what is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent between 1990 and 2015.
"The global reduction in maternal death rates is encouraging news," says Dr Margaret Chan, the director general of WHO.
"Countries where women are facing a high risk of death during pregnancy or childbirth are taking measures like training midwives, strengthening hospitals and health centres to assist pregnant women," said Chan.
Pregnant women still die from four major causes--severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertension and unsafe abortion, the report said, adding that every day about 1,000 women died due to these complications in 2008.
Out of the 1000, 570 lived in sub-Saharan Africa, 300 in South Asia and five in high-income countries.
The risk of a woman in a developing country dying from a pregnancy related cause during her lifetime is about 36 times higher compared to a woman living in a developed country.
"To achieve our global goal of improving maternal health and to save women's lives, we need to do more to reach those who are most at risk," says Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF.