Trends in Maternal Mortality ? UN report

Trends in Maternal Mortality – UN report

News: According to the United Nations’ (UN) new report “Trends in Maternal Mortality”, of the estimated 287,000 maternal deaths recorded in 2020, 70 % took place in sub-Saharan Africa.

Key Findings of Report:
 Every two minutes, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth, revealing alarming setbacks for women’s health over recent years, as maternal deaths either increased or stagnated in nearly all regions of the world.
 There were an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2020, which is a slight decrease from 309,000 in 2016 when the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect.
 Although there has been significant progress in reducing maternal deaths between 2000 and 2015, gains largely stalled, or in some cases even reversed, after this point.
 In 2020, about 70% of all maternal deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa.
 With approximately 82,000 maternal deaths in 2020, Nigeria accounted for over a quarter (28.5%) of all estimated global maternal deaths in the pandemic year.

Key Findings (India)
 India recorded the second highest number of maternal deaths in 2020, coming second at 24,000 to only Nigeria. However, there has been an overall reduction of 73.5% in MMR in India, between 2000 and 2020.
 In 2020, India’s MMR stood at 103, a vast improvement from 384 at the turn of the century. However, other developing countries such as Argentina (45), Bhutan (60), Brazil (72), Kyrgyzstan (50) and Philippines (78) have fared better than India.

What are causes of Maternal deaths?
 Severe bleeding, high blood pressure, pregnancy-related infections, complications from unsafe abortion, and underlying conditions that can be aggravated by pregnancy (such as HIV/AIDS and malaria) are the leading causes of maternal deaths.
 Globally, 1,878 HIV-related indirect maternal deaths were recorded, of which 1,738 (around 92.5%) were in sub-Saharan Africa.
 Roughly a third of women do not have even four of a recommended eight antenatal checks or receive essential postnatal care, while some 270 million women lack access to modern family planning methods.
 Inequities related to income, education, race or ethnicity further increase risks for marginalized pregnant women, who have the least access to essential maternity care but are most likely to experience underlying health problems in pregnancy.

Recommendations:
 More investments in Primary health care and stronger resilient health systems are need of the hour.
 Community-centered primary health care can meet the needs of women, children and adolescents and enable equitable access to critical services such as assisted births and pre- and postnatal care, childhood vaccinations, nutrition and family planning.
 Exercising control over their reproductive health, particularly decisions about if and when to have children, is critical to ensure that women can plan and space childbearing and protect their health.
 Ending preventable maternal deaths and providing universal access to quality maternal health care require sustained national and international efforts and unwavering commitments, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.
 The world must significantly accelerate progress to meet global targets for reducing maternal deaths, or else risk the lives of over 1 million more women by 2030.
 The SDG target for maternal deaths is for a global MMR of less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

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