In 2020, 287,000 women worldwide died during pregnancy or childbirth, which is described as a slight decrease from the 309,000 deaths recorded in 2016.
However, Maternal Mortality Trends warns of worrying reversals in maternal health. Inequality, ongoing conflicts and crises increase risks for pregnant women globally. The report was prepared by UNICEF, WHO, WHO and other UN agencies.
In two of the eight regions, Europe and North America and Latin America and the Caribbean, maternal mortality increased by 17 and 15 percent, respectively, over the period studied – although this was from a relatively low level. The largest increase was observed in the United States, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Benin and Jamaica.
The report notes the importance of paying attention to how interruptions in health care during crises affect maternal mortality in highly developed countries, as well as inequality between different population groups.
At the same time, the maternal mortality rate decreased by 35 percent in Australia and New Zealand, and by 16 percent in Central and South Asia.
However, poverty and conflict are the main causes of the high maternal mortality rate. Sub-Saharan Africa tops the list. More than 70 percent of the deaths occurred in that region.
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