Sub-Saharan Africa leads in maternal mortality

The adult lifetime risk of maternal mortality in women in sub-Saharan Africa was the highest in the world last year, at 1 in 38, compared with 1 in 3,700 in developed countries.

A World Health Organisation report on trends in maternal mortality between 1990 and 2013 shows that sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 6,800 (91 per cent) of the estimated 7,500 maternal deaths on the continent.

Globally, there were 289,000 maternal deaths in 2013, a decline of 45 per cent from 1990. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 62 per cent (179,000) of global deaths, followed by South Asia at 24 per cent (69,000).

India and Nigeria accounted for one-third of the global maternal deaths, with 50,000 mothers dying in India and 40,000 in Nigeria.

High-income countries

Chad and Somalia had the highest adult lifetime risk of maternal mortality, at 1 in 15 and 1 in 18 respectively. The estimated risks in high-income countries is 1 in 3,400, compared with low-income countries, where the risk is 1 in 52.

Cape Verde and Mauritius were the only two sub-Saharan African countries that had low MMR at 53 and 73, respectively.

In East Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are among the top 10 countries that comprised 58 per cent of the global maternal deaths reported in 2013. Rwanda was among the 11 countries categorised as “on track” to reducing the maternal mortality, having cut maternal deaths by 76 per cent.

SOURCE: The East African