Global Maternal Deaths Drop By 44% Since 1990, But Disparities In Care Remain, According To Study Published As Part Of Lancet Maternal Health Series

The Guardian: Maternal deaths worldwide drop by half, yet shocking disparities remain
“The number of women dying from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved since 1990, a global report has revealed. Worldwide the annual number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births fell by 44 percent between 1990 and 2015, from approximately 385 to 216. But the figure came far below the target set by the United Nations as part of its Millennium Development Goals in 2000, which aimed to see a drop of 75 percent by 2015. … [A]ccording to the report — a series of six papers published in the Lancet by an international team of researchers — provision of maternal health care worldwide is hugely variable…” (Davis, 9/15).

The Guardian: Women above 35 who give birth account for 40% of maternal deaths in Australia
“Of the Australian women who give birth, 23 percent are over 35 but these older mothers account for 40 percent of maternal deaths across the country, a study has revealed. Australia has the second highest rate of births to older women among 14 developed countries — behind only Spain, where 35 percent are above that age — and the highest rate of caesarean section births, a study in The Lancet says…” (9/15).

International Business Times: Despite 44% drop in global maternal deaths, study shows disparities prevail in health care facilities
“…While one in 4,900 women in high income nations is prone to maternal death, the figure is an appalling one in 36 for women in sub-Saharan Africa. … The researchers estimated that around 210 million women get pregnant every year and about 140 million babies are born annually. However, since 1990, the gap between the group of countries with the highest maternal mortality rate and the group with the lowest had doubled…” (Ray, 9/16).

The Lancet: Challenges for maternal health efforts
“The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) is currently operating with a shortfall of about US$140 million, an amount that exceeds the combined budgetary gap of the previous two years. For the first time this year, donors designated more funding to specified projects and regions rather than supporting the ‘core’ work of the UNFPA. The agency expects the funding shortages to cause rippled setbacks for women’s and maternal health care worldwide…” (Lieberman, 9/17).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Global goal to reduce maternal deaths threatened by lack of access to quality care — study
“Unequal access to health services and poor quality care for pregnant women is hampering progress in meeting international goals for eradicating deaths during childbirth, researchers said on Thursday. … Nearly 53 million of the poorest women in the world receive no skilled assistance during birth, the study said. Women who struggle the most to get good quality maternal care were teenagers, unmarried women, immigrants, refugees, and internally displaced women, along with indigenous women and women from ethnic or religious minorities, the report said…” (Moloney, 9/15).

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