Excerpts from health24 website
The WHO defines maternal death as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy”.
According to the report, South Africa is not among those countries “on track” to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of reducing its maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015.
It also shows the country’s maternal mortality rate is higher than several of its neighbours, including Botswana (160 per 100 000) and Madagascar (240 per 100 000), but a good deal lower than Zimbabwe (570 per 100 000) and Lesotho (620 per 100 000).
The report finds that the failure to make more rapid progress in reducing maternal mortality rates in the 75 countries it measures “is the most serious wound on the body of global health”.
It says many reasons are offered as mitigation for this.
“But the underlying cause of failure is that development partners have simply not been sufficiently interested in strengthening the systems of health care that women need during pregnancy and childbirth.”