News Desk : dhakamirror.com
Despite maternal mortality rates declining by a third in 20 years, a woman dies every two minutes from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, according to a report released by the UN on Thursday.
Rates dramatically decreased between 2000 and 2015, but between 2016 and 2020, they mostly stagnated, and in some locations, have even reversed, according to the UN.
Lives of over one million more women may be at risk by 2030, “Trends in maternal mortality”, the report, further underlines unless significant progress is made worldwide to meet global targets for reducing maternal deaths. Maternal deaths – nationally, regionally and globally from 2000 to 2020 – have been tracked as a part of the report. About 287,000 maternal deaths were recorded globally in 2020. A majority of these deaths have been recorded from the poorest of poor regions and conflict zones.
“While pregnancy should be a time of immense hope and a positive experience for all women, it is tragically still a shockingly dangerous experience for millions around the world who lack access to high quality, respectful health care,”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), was quoted as saying in an official release. In her response, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem stressed upon the need for political will to face the challenge. “It is unacceptable that so many women continue to die needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth. Over 280,000 fatalities in a single year is unconscionable. We can and must do better by urgently investing in family planning and filling the global shortage of 900,000 midwives so that every woman can get the lifesaving care she needs,” she said.
About 70 per cent of all maternal deaths in 2020 were registered in sub-Saharan Africa. Nine countries in the grips of severe humanitarian crises recorded maternal mortality rates more than double the world average as 551 maternal deaths were registered per 100,000 live births, compared to 223 globally. Among the leading causes of the deaths are severe bleeding, high blood pressure, pregnancy-related infections, and complications from unsafe abortion. About 270 million women lack access to modern family planning methods.
However, several nations have been registering an improvement in the situation as far as these figures are concerned. Australia and New Zealand, and Central and South Asia experienced significant declines by 35 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in their maternal mortality rates during the same period, as did 31 countries across the world.