The urgent need to ensure that all women have sufficient access to essential health services
A woman dies worldwide every two minutes from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, according to a report by UN agencies. Although since 1990 a number of countries have halved the maternal mortality rate, it is observed that in 2020, approximately 70% of all maternal deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A woman dies worldwide every two minutes from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, according to a report by UN agencies. The report while highlighting the stark disparities in access to healthcare, highlights ‘alarming regressions’ in women’s health in recent years, and a ‘major setback’ in many parts of the world. These figures show the urgent need to ensure that every woman and girl has sufficient access to essential health services.
While pregnancy is indeed a positive experience for women, it remains an extremely dangerous experience for millions of people around the world who lack access to respectful, high-quality health care, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Overall between 2000 and 2020, the global maternal mortality rate declined by 34.3%. According to the WHO, Europe and North America, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, recorded a 17% and 15% increase in maternal mortality between 2016 and 2020.
Although since 1990 a number of countries have halved the maternal mortality rate, it is observed that in 2020, approximately 70% of all maternal deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to data published by the WHO, the main complications, which represent 75% of all maternal deaths, are severe bleeding (mostly after childbirth), infections (usually after childbirth), hypertension during pregnancy (preeclampsia and eclampsia), complications due to childbirth and abortion performed in unsafe conditions.
As part of the Global Strategy and the goal of ending preventable maternal mortality, it is essential to strengthen health systems to respond to the needs and priorities of women and girls and to ensure the accountability to improve quality of care and equity. It is also necessary to fight against inequalities in access to reproductive, maternal and newborn health care services, to ensure universal health coverage for comprehensive reproductive, maternal and newborn health care and finally to fight against all causes of maternal mortality, reproductive and maternal morbidity and related disabilities.
The objective set by the United Nations is that by 2030, States have been able to accelerate progress and therefore that there be fewer than 70 deaths per 100,000 deliveries.