Worldwide maternal mortality rate falls by 45% in 13 years

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 08 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3150
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The number of women dying in labour has nearly halved since 1990 but a lack of data is hampering efforts to reduce maternal mortality, a report from the World Health Organization has said.1

An estimated 289 000 women died in labour in 2013, a fall of 45% since 1990 when there were 523 000 deaths. Nearly a third of deaths occurred in just two countries: India, at 17% (50 000 deaths in 2013), and Nigeria, at 14% (40 000 deaths).

Most maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa (62% of deaths or 179 000). Sierra Leone is estimated to have the highest maternal mortality rate in the world at 1100 deaths per 100 000 births, which is down from 2300 in 1990. Other countries …

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