Just in time for Mother’s Day in the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released updated statistics showing that maternal mortality rates are dropping worldwide. In fact, maternal deaths have fallen 45% since 1990, a statistic that should be cause for optimism about the future. Yet, the actual number of women who die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth every year translates into a mind-boggling one death every two minutes. Here are some relevant statistics:
►The vast majority of maternal deaths (90%) occur in the developing world, though the WHO report notes that maternal mortality rates in the United States have increased since 1990.
►Every Mother Counts, an organization that addresses the barriers to maternal health worldwide, states that two women die every day in the United States from pregnancy or childbirth complications and that the U.S. ranks 50th in the world in terms of maternal health.
►India (17%) and Nigeria (14%) together account for one-third of maternal deaths worldwide.
►Eleven countries are considered to be “on track” to meet the Millennium Development Goal regarding maternal mortality by 2015: Maldives, Bhutan, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Romania, Timor Leste, Cabo Verde, Eritrea, Nepal, and Rwanda.
You can access the full report here.