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Maternal Mortality Rate Quadruples in South Africa, According To Human Rights Watch Report

“South Africa’s maternal mortality rate has quadrupled while most African countries have cut that crucial health indicator – from 150 to 625 deaths for each 100,000 live births between 1998 and 2007,” according to the Associated Press, citing a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that used data from the South African government. The report “describes the suffering of scores of women in South African government hospitals and clinics,” the article states (Faul, 8/8).

“A lack of oversight and accountability for recurrent problems in the health system and abuses committed by health personnel contributes to South Africa’s substandard maternity care and undermines one of its top health goals: to reduce its high maternal death rate,” according to an HRW press release (8/8). “The surge in South Africa’s maternal death rate was probably due to an increase in cases being reported and actual deaths, especially among HIV-positive women, HRW said,” TrustLaw notes (Migiro, 8/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.