Each year, more than 500 000 women worldwide die of pregnancy-related problems but nearly 75 percent of those deaths could be prevented through better health care, including access to contraception and safe abortions, says a report by the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
Poor women in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are most likely to suffer pregnancy-related deaths, said the report, which was released Monday at a meeting of 8 000 maternal health experts from 130 countries, the Associated Press reported.
"The global record in preventing these deaths is a disaster," Dorothy Shaw, the federation's president elect, said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur. "One woman somewhere in the world dies every minute from a cause related to pregnancy and childbirth, mostly in developing countries."
The report said excessive postpartum bleeding is the most common cause of pregnancy-related death, the AP reported. This type of bleeding occurs in up to 20 percent of all deliveries. Unhealthy, undernourished women who can't afford to go to well-equipped hospitals are most likely to die from this complication.
Unsafe abortions are another major cause of death (nearly 70 000 women a year) and injury, the report said. Haemorrhage, infections and poisoning from substances used to induce abortions are common causes of these deaths and injuries, the AP reported. – (HealthDayNews)