At least one woman dies worldwide every minute of complications related to her pregnancy, implying more than half a million deaths yearly. Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa the situation remains tragic, with an average of 900 deaths per 100,000 live births. This number is 200 times higher than in European countries. The major direct causes are haemorrhage, infection, unsafe abortion, eclampsia and non-progressive labour. In addition, the poorly organized health care is often not accessible, not available, too expensive and of bad quality; still 15% of all pregnancies need worldwide obstetrical emergency care at the moment of delivery. Mothers should not die. "Improving maternal health" is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. The vast majority of maternal death may be prevented by giving women access to family planning facilities and by providing quality care during their pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium. Medical care and support in abortions are needed as well. A well-developed health care system with qualified personnel remains a fundamental issue for eradicating this excessive maternal death toll.
|Translated title of the contribution||Maternal death: Still a great problem in Africa|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|