Maternal deaths have dropped by 45% worldwide

Pregnant woman image

Decline in maternal deaths declared

Statistics released by the World Health Organisation have revealed that maternal deaths have fallen worldwide by 45% since 1990.

The data also shows new evidence on the causes of women dying in pregnancy or childbirth,with the WHO claiming that more investment in pregnancy care is needed to combat these preventable deaths.

Last year, 289,000 women died in pregnancy or childbirth, which is an improvement on the half a million women who died in 1990. Despite this huge decline, the WHO declare that this figure is still too high, with 33 maternal deaths happening around the world every hour.

Maternal deaths investigated

The study highlighted the need for poorer countries to invest more in their healthcare systems, as it revealed that in sub-Saharan Africa, a 15 year old girl has a one in 40 risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth, but in Europe, that risk is one in 3,300.

Health experts also believe that maternal mortality rates could even be rising in richer countries, such as the United States.  More than one in four maternal deaths is said to be caused by pre-existing conditions which complicate pregnancy, such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity.