A woman comforts her pregnant daughter-in-law during labor at the Dhekiajuli Community Health Center in Assam, India. The state has the highest rate of maternal mortality in India, a country with 50,000 such deaths per year.
Pictures Show How Dangerous It Can Be to Give Birth
On International Women’s Day, we visit women for whom pregnancy can mean death.
Last year, 303,000 women around the world died from pregnancy and birth-related complications. A disproportionate number of these deaths were in developing countries.
“A woman in sub-Saharan Africa is 100 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than a woman from an industrialized nation,” says Lothar Mikulla, maternal health communications specialist at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “This is one of the most glaring differences between rich and poor countries.”
Maternal mortality is highest in countries where residents can’t get to or can’t afford adequate health care. To address this problem, UNFPA supports the development of emergency services and trains midwives. Between 2009 and 2014, the organization trained over 66,000 women to assist with childbirth.
“In all countries