Opinion: Maternal mortality in Third World countries: How to stop a mother from dying every minute

November 1, 2008

Worldwide, at least 500,000 women a year die of pregnancy-related complications, with developing countries bearing most of the burden. Dr Lockwood recommends that hospitals and medical schools in richer nations pair up with major hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa and other afflicted areas to address their specific training and financial needs.

The magnitude of the problem

Each year, at least half a million women on this planet die of pregnancy-related complications.1 That's 1,500 mothers dying per day, 60 per hour, or one per minute. What's worse, this is likely to be a significant underestimate, since those areas of the world with the highest mortality rates have the least adequate and accurate data collection systems.

Poor countries bear the burden of maternal mortality more heavily