Maternal Health: Why do women die?

  • Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable or treatable.
  • Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy, especially if not managed as part of the woman’s care.
  • The major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are:
  1. severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)
  2. infections (usually after childbirth)
  3. high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
  4. complications from delivery
  5. unsafe abortion.
  6. The remainder are caused by or associated with infections such as malaria or related to chronic conditions like cardiac diseases or diabetes.

CREDIT: WHO

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