ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Social Issues

Maternal Mortality in the Developing World

Updated on November 19, 2011
Source



Statistics indicate maternal mortality rates in developing countries contrast significantly with those of western societies. In many cases, maternal death could be easily prevented by ensuring all people have access to basic medical resources, medically trained personnel, and relevant education.The issue of maternal death in developing nations will be further explored as well as the contributing factors in maternal death, and possible methods to control those factors.

In many undeveloped countries annual mortality rates resulting from childbirth-related complications are significantly higher than those of developed nations. For the past few decades, annual maternal mortality rates have been consistently over half a million worldwide. Approximately 1,500 women are dying each day due to childbirth related issues, with particular regularity in Africa and Southern Asia. Complications such as postpartum haemorrhage and obstructed labour requiring a caesarean are the major contributing factors in these deaths. Due to a shortage of skilled medics and clinicians in rural areas, simple complications such as these are unable to be treated effectively.

Consequently, rural areas record the highest rates of neo-natal and maternal deaths, particularly in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the lowest rates of skilled medical attendance during births are recorded.According to recent statistics these rural areas are half as likely to have a birth attended by skilled medical professionals than urban areas, which correlates notably with maternal fatality statistics in those rural regions. Furthermore, statistics highlight a significant gap between first and third world maternal mortality rates. For example, a woman in Nigeria has a 1in 7 chance of dying during childbirth, in comparison to 1 in 47,600 for a woman in Ireland. This example illustrates how remarkable the difference in the fatality rates of first and third world countries are. It also strongly suggests the existence of birth related issues in developing nations.

High rates of maternal death can be attributed to a range of issues. Presently, skilled medics attend only 59 percent of births in developing countries, due largely to the limited access to isolated rural villages and families. Poverty also presents a problem, in that many families lack the means of financing medical services. Shortages of suitably equipped medical clinics within reasonable distances of rural communities, and once again, the means for poverty stricken families to afford these services are also major problems.

Maternal deaths are further attributed to injuries, infections, and disabilities, all resulting from unassisted childbirth. Another factor is the lack of education rural areas receive in relation to such matters as postnatal complications, nutrition, and awareness of early warning signs of potential complications. Moreover, maternal deaths for some cultures stem from the issue of child marriage and its subsequent outcome of premature pregnancy, in which the risks of maternal death are increased. Some studies have also suggested that the oppression of women in some communities is closely linked with maternal mortality rates in those regions. Many of these issues have been minimised in western societies. Therefore, the introduction of western fundamental concepts regarding childbirth in these areas would assist in the effective control of these issues.

The rate of maternal deaths in developing countries could be significantly reduced with the introduction of some simple control measures. Most importantly, by ensuring that all births are attended by skilled health workers such as midwives, nurses, or doctors. The presence of skilled health workers during and after childbirth would significantly reduce the chance of complications that lead to what should be an easily preventable death. For instances of major obstetric complication, a suitably equipped maternity centre should be made available to all communities, ideally within two hours journey.Antenatal and postnatal visits from health professionals and better access to contraception would also be considerably beneficial. Additionally, an important element in reducing maternal death is education.

Education of women plays an important role in reducing the number of maternal deaths. Access to education is essential in improving women’s maternal health and subsequently, the health of their children. Education also helps to protect girls from child marriage, with its inexorable consequences of premature pregnancy. Childbirth and pregnancy related deaths account for the deaths of 70,000 women every year and are currently the leading causes of mortality for girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide.

In addition to the issue of children being forced into marriage and premature pregnancy, the social status of women in many regions contributes to the high rate of maternal deaths. Links are proven to exist between the oppression of women in developing countries and maternal mortality. Accordingly, maternal health should be treated as a fundamental human right to improve the rate of maternal deaths. Initiatives to improve the state of maternal health, along with measures to promote women’s rights in under-developed countries are crucial elements in reducing the rate of maternal mortality in third world countries.

Although some childbirth related deaths are unable to be avoided, the amount can be significantly reduced by the implementation of the solutions explored here. Most importantly, the simple presence of skilled health workers during and after labour; access to medical facilities, clinics and contraception; and the ongoing education of girls and women on pregnancy related issues, danger signs, and nutrition. These basic amenities that are taken for granted in western society are severely lacking in developing countries and this lack is resulting in an unacceptable, high death rate of women and children each year.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jaims profile image
      Author

      Jaims 6 years ago from North Queensland

      Dont be silly!

    • profile image

      Shuting 6 years ago

      it is not easy for a panda to be pregnant. guess one day science will help this problem too.

    • Jaims profile image
      Author

      Jaims 6 years ago from North Queensland

      Thanks for your comment Rednickle. The statistics are certainly appalling.

    • rednickle profile image

      rednickle 6 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

      Hmm great insight here and you have clearly done your homework on this one.I like the presentation of details here and more importantly the fact the you chose to focus on this topic . thumbs up

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)