Pregnant in Niger
Pregnancy can be challenging anywhere, but being pregnant in Niger is often life-threatening. Around 14,000 women in Niger die every year as a result of pregnancy-related complications, with only 29 percent of births attended by skilled medical professionals. Because giving birth at home is a deeply ingrained cultural tradition in Niger, only 17 percent of women give birth in health facilities.

Challenges in Being Pregnant in Niger

The difficulties of being pregnant in Niger are exacerbated by the persistence of gender inequality. Women are often treated as property, with girls being married or even sold off before reaching puberty. Violence against girls and women remains a huge problem, especially because victims have often been conditioned to expect and tolerate these abuses.

Due to limited national resources and inadequate funding, the health care system in Niger is unequal to the task of providing universal care for all Nigeriens and relies heavily on assistance from charitable organizations. In 2015, an evaluation of Niger’s national health policy, led by the World Health Organization, revealed that only minimal progress had been made in the area of maternal health. To address this need, nonprofit groups such as Nutrition International are taking action.

Nutrition International

Nutrition International is an organization “helping more pregnant women and their newborns receive access to essential health care services, medicines and other commodities, including vitamins and minerals.” This initiative includes assessing the prenatal and antenatal care as well as pregnancy outcomes and evaluating the potential barriers to care for Nigerien women. These barriers range from a lack of confidence that prenatal and antenatal care is as important as they are being told to more practical concerns such as being able to afford transportation to medical appointments.

The period of time during and shortly after birth is a crucial one for both mother and newborn child. Unforeseen complications can arise, and without adequately trained health providers as well as the proper medicine and equipment, too many mothers and babies needlessly die. Nutrition International is also making materials available to facilities in Niger to provide care to pregnant and postpartum women as well as to train health personnel to give improved care and counseling to their patients. Furthermore, they are utilizing volunteers within the community to impart to pregnant women and their families the importance of antenatal care.


In 2017 alone, 81 out of every 1,000 live births resulted in the death of the infant before reaching one year of age. UNICEF provides support to the government of Niger to ensure that mothers and their babies receive a “continuum of care,” from prenatal to antenatal and promotes the education of girls, which can decrease the odds of childhood or adolescent pregnancy.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) implemented a program in 2014 called Action for Adolescent Girls. This has played an important role in helping to improve conditions for women who are pregnant in Niger. One important mission of the organization is to ensure that the women, and not young girls, are entering into marriages of their own volition and not being impregnated before they are physically and emotionally ready.

UNFPA sought out and trained local women to serve as mentors to young Nigerien girls, teaching them the basics of female hygiene, reproductive health, literacy and the basics of how to manage money. They were taught that child marriage is illegal and were informed of their other rights as citizens and human beings. Within the first eight-month cycle of the program, this initiative had already resulted in an increase of contraceptive use from 19 percent to 34 percent.

Looking Ahead

The government of Niger continues to work with global organizations to improve the health of prospective and new mothers as well as their children. USAID contributes to this effort with development and humanitarian programs in Niger, all of which are aimed at making the country more self-sufficient. The more financially solvent the country is, the better educated its population will be, ensuring that fertility rates continue to decline while the Nigerien economy continues to improve. With assistance from the U.S. and other wealthy nations, Niger can fulfill its potential and all of its citizens can thrive.

Raquel Ramos
Photo: Unsplash

postpartum hemorrhaging
In the advanced world, a postpartum hemorrhage is a very manageable and preventable condition; however, postpartum hemorrhaging is a leading cause of maternal mortality. A staggering 99 percent of all deaths resulting from postpartum hemorrhaging occur in lower income countries. Postpartum hemorrhaging is responsible for 59 percent of maternal deaths in Burkina Faso, 43 percent in Indonesia and 52 percent in the Philippines.

Why Postpartum Hemorrhaging Is Common

In these developing countries, the increased frequency of postpartum hemorrhages is due to a lack of experienced obstetricians and caregivers who can properly treat the condition. There is also a lack of access to proper medications as well as care for those medications.

Oxytocin is currently the most common drug prescribed for preventing postpartum hemorrhages. The World Health Organization recommends that oxytocin be routinely administered and actively managed; however, oxytocin must be stored and transported at two to eight degrees Celsius, two conditions of which developing countries cannot accommodate.

A Possible Solution

A rival drug has been in the works to be as efficient as oxytocin in preventing excessive bleeding post childbirth as well as be more manageable in the living conditions of developing countries. The drug is a heat-stable carbetocin. This type of drug does not need refrigeration and can maintain its efficacy for at least three years when stored at 30 degrees Celsius. These requirements are far more realistic and achievable in developing communities.

The World Health Organization conducted a comparative study between the heat-stable carbetocin and oxytocin for prevention of postpartum hemorrhages. Approximately 30,000 women were sampled and given either drug to study the effects each had on prevention. It was concluded that the heat-stable carbetocin was not inferior to oxytocin.

Saving Mothers’ Lives

With such a high rate of deaths from postpartum hemorrhaging in developing countries due to the strict requirements for oxytocin that cannot be met, the heat-stable carbetocin will drastically improve the mortality rates. The new drug will be readily available and easily managed where it was once not.

Permitting the usage of the heat-stable carbetocin has many benefits that will better developing countries in a multitude of ways. If used widely, the drug could very possibly put an end to this tragically common occurrence.

– Samantha Harward
Photo: Flickr

most effective drug for preventing maternal death
Each year, more than 300,000 women die in childbirth. The top three causes of global maternal deaths are severe bleeding, infections and high blood pressure at the time of birth. Often, pregnant women in developing countries are faced with an impossible decision: seek affordable care from untrained/unlicensed midwives or enter hospitals without being able to pay for modern treatment. It is extremely unlikely that women in this situation will receive the most effective drug for preventing maternal death.

Deaths from infections can easily be prevented through good hygiene practices by the patient and the medical staff attending to her. As for high blood pressure, the most fundamental precautionary measure is to educate the public on adolescent pregnancies, as this is often associated with maternal mortality from high blood pressure. Severe bleeding in childbirth can kill a healthy woman within several hours if proper attention and care are not given to her by her caretakers.

Often there are complications, such as bleeding, that require costly surgical operations or blood transfusions. If the mother is unable to afford the operation, she may not survive the excessive bleeding. In Sierra Leone, many people know at least one woman who has either died in childbirth or lost a fetus due to complications. Maternal care is the comprehensive indicator of the overall development of a country; the healthcare system for maternal health reflects the level of education, infrastructure and transparency of a nation.

Well educated nations with high literacy rates can still experience a shortage of qualified medical workers. Why? They are not properly paid or paid at all. The few qualified or highly educated emigrate for better opportunities and salaries. This resulting brain drain further exacerbates the crisis of maternal mortality. Prior to childbirth, there is also a delay in pregnant women seeking proper treatment. This delay can be attributed to a lack of confidence in the competence of the local healthcare facilities.

Thanks to U.N. funding, clinics in every nation are sponsored to employ local medical staff, which not only provides them with a salary, but with training as well. In addition to improved services, many patients benefit the from donation and careful administration of drugs. Among the most notable is tranexamic acid. Also known as TXA, this drug helps to control bleeding for trauma patients. It helps to stabilize a clot at the site of bleeding by preventing it from dissolving during formation. It has proven to be the most effective drug for preventing maternal death.

TXA works by preventing the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin; this promotes the accumulation of fibrin to form a complex known as the fibrin degradation products. It should be noted that TXA is not an alternative for blood transfusion; it is merely an important addition to this treatment. In addition to trauma patients, TXA has also proven effective in treating combat casualties. It has also been proven to be safe for patients.

In April 2017, the WHO launched a clinical trial dubbed the World Maternal Antifibrinolytic Trial. It consisted of 20,000 women from 21 countries who were diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). It was a randomized, double-blind trial with placebos for some of the participants. The organization wanted to see if bleeding persisted 30 minutes after the first dosage, and if it restarted within 24 hours. If bleeding did persist, it determined if a second dose was necessary.

What they found was that TXA reduced deaths in the trial, and it was evident that early treatment maximized the benefit. It was the most effective drug for preventing maternal death. In their words, “safe, effective and affordable PPH treatments are critical to saving the lives of pregnant women globally, and the findings of this trial have important implications for the delivery of high-quality maternity care.”

– Awad Bin-Jawed

Photo: Flickr

women's health in AfricaWomen’s health is of great importance to social and economic development in Africa. Representing over 50 percent of the country’s human resources, women’s health in Africa has major implications for the nation’s development. Overwhelming evidence shows that by supporting women’s health status and income levels, both households and communities are drastically improved. Therefore, women’s disempowerment must be regarded as a human rights issue. These are a few facts about women’s health in Africa today.

Maternal Deaths Are Still High

Although woman’s life expectancy at birth in more than 35 countries around the world is upwards of 80 years, in the African region, it is only 54 years, according to recent World Health Organization statistics. Sixty-six percent of maternal deaths happen in sub-Saharan Africa. One in 42 African women still dies during childbirth, as opposed to one in 2,900 in Europe.

Teenage Pregnancy Education

Due to the lack of education and healthcare, teenage mothers experience many complications and premature deaths since their young bodies are still developing and not ready for the physical and emotional trauma of childbirth. Because of this, according to the Center for Global Health and Diplomacy, teenage pregnancy needs to be at the top of the education agenda in Africa among young girls if they are going to be empowered to take control of their bodies, their futures and their health.

Improving Infrastructure Can Save Women’s Lives

Several of the major issues affecting women’s health in Africa are associated with poor living conditions. As the main gatherers of food for their households, women are exposed to particular health risks. There is ample evidence that improving infrastructure such as access to roads and providing safe and accessible water sources can considerably improve women’s health and economic well-being.

HIV Affects More Women than Men

In 2015, 20 percent of new HIV infections among adults were among women aged 15 to 24, despite this group only accounting for 11 percent of the global adult population, according to “In East and Southern Africa, young women will acquire HIV five to seven years earlier than their male peers. In 2015, there were on average 4,500 new HIV infections among young women every week, double the number of young men.”  In west and central Africa, 64 percent of new HIV infections among young people occurred among young women. Location has a lot to do with this, as adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 are five times more likely to be infected with HIV than boys of the same age in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.

The Fight for Empowerment

U.N. Women, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, puts great effort into the protection of women’s empowerment in Africa. This organization supports critical policies for social protection for women. Partnerships with national banks are expanding access to finance to make that happen, along with collaborations with regional and U.N. economic commissions. Although women’s health in Africa is in desperate need of reform, there are many organizations like this one fighting to make that possible.

Policy reform designed to improve women’s health in Africa must address the issue of women’s place in African society so that the health of women can be seen as a basic right.

– Kailey Brennan

Photo: Flickr

The widespread poverty, hunger and disease in Central Africa has consistently resulted in the lowest life expectancy in the world. While the global average of life expectancy has risen by roughly five years in the past two decades, central African countries continue to dwell at the statistical bottom. At a typical life expectancy of 50 years, the global community must increase funding and accountability to ensure that poverty and disease cease their decimation of central African populations.

The central African country of Chad was estimated to have the lowest life expectancy in the world for 2017. Chad is a country of 12 million people, 40 percent of which live below the poverty line. While the country began oil production in the early 2000s, Chad’s poverty rate is expected to continue its rise. In part, this is due to the country’s high mortality rate and low life expectancy. To gauge the ability of the U.S. and other developed nations to help increase Chadians’ average lifespan of only 50.60 years, it is first necessary to examine the causes of death.

Early Deaths

Children in Chad die from all sorts of illnesses, from malaria and respiratory infections to prematurity and diarrhea. Because so few Chadians have access to birth control, as only approximately five percent use contraception, the birth rate in Chad is growing. 43 percent of the population is aged 14 or younger, and that figure is rising. The risk of dying by this young age is 44 percent for boys and 39 for girls, as of 2012.

Furthermore, Chad has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Extreme poverty, poor to no maternal health care and adolescent pregnancy has contributed greatly to the high maternal death rates. In a country with the lowest life expectancy in the world, the extreme poverty rates must decrease and better access to maternal healthcare is essential if the country is to improve.


Chad, like many African nations, is no stranger to disease. Lower respiratory diseases, malaria, HIV/AIDS and diarrhoeal infections are dangerously common. Lower respiratory infections alone killed 24,700 people in 2012. The risk factors for falling prey to these diseases are lack of adequate healthcare, a rarity of potable water and the hot and arid climate. As the largest of Africa’s landlocked countries, Chadians are forced to walk long distances for water.

As only 28 percent of the population lives in urban areas, the vast majority of Chadians do not have quick access to necessities such as water and healthcare. As the country with the world’s lowest life expectancy, it is vital that Chad provide better access to these basic human needs to the entirety of its landscape.

The U.S. is in a unique position to provide monetary and medicinal assistance. Maintaining accountability with the Chadian government regarding these resources would be the most effective way to ensure that taxpayer dollars are going to good use and can be reflected by a rising life expectancy for the people of Chad, and all over Central Africa.

– Eric Paulsen

Photo: Flickr

Maternal Mortality in Central African RepublicIn a country slightly smaller than Texas, the Central African Republic sits in a region that leads the world in pregnancy-related deaths. The maternal mortality rate stands at 890 per 100,000 live-births. Maternal mortality in the Central African Republic is a tragic reality that puts the health and survival of children at risk and places strain on economic development.

One of the major contributors to the mortality rate is a lack of accessible health centers. High teenage pregnancy rates increase the risk of complications. Long distances to health centers increase the impact of those complications. Even when women are able to reach a health center or clinic they are ill-prepared to deal with complications like hemorrhaging or lack the equipment to perform C-sections.

Due to the inaccessibility of viable and prepared health centers, many women opt to give birth at home. Women from poorer communities are more likely to opt for home-birth in response to a lack of transportation or qualified health facilities. With less than two licensed mid-wives per 10,000 people, home-births come with increased risks of complications and death.

Additionally, understanding maternal mortality in the Central African Republic is complicated by a lack of accurate data concerning the cause of death. Even countries with well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS) have deaths misclassified as maternal or otherwise. Improved data collection could help better statistical research and in turn improve solution-based action.

The most troubling aspect of maternal mortality is that many of these deaths are preventable. Giving birth in the presence of trained personnel is one of the most basic ways to keep mothers safe. Research has shown that giving birth in a facility reduces mortality rates. Here are some suggested solutions to reduce the maternal mortality rate in the Central African Republic:

  • Governments can adopt cash transfers to mothers or reproductive health voucher programs which have proved successful in select districts in Kenya. Among the poorest women, facility deliveries and postnatal care doubled after similar introductions.
  • Nigeria employed midwives through their Midwives Service Scheme which trains retired, unemployed or newly graduated midwives to work in underserved areas. The initiative increased the use of prenatal care by 60 percent and increased the number of births attended by health professionals by half.
  • Providing more reliable transportation at affordable costs using vouchers or cash transfers giving women the option to travel to present health centers.

Medical teams from the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) are working to support three local health centers in Boda. The clinics provide free prenatal consultation and help with deliveries. They also have midwives that offer family planning and make house visits to ensure new mothers are healthy. ALIMA is funded by the EU’s humanitarian aid department (ECHO). Since the program began in 2014, nearly 13,000 women have benefitted from prenatal care, 3,100 women have given birth at the facilities, and an average of 115 pregnant women are hospitalized each month.

Maternal mortality in the Central African Republic can be decreased drastically with efforts to give access to mothers in need. The people of CAR are in need of better maternity care and with these basic initiatives, hundreds of lives could be spared each year, along with better circumstances for children and economic growth in communities.

Rebekah Korn

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in SwazilandAs 63 percent of Swazis continue to live below the national poverty line, it is clear that there is an urgent call for change. While the causes of poverty in Swaziland are many, gender inequality serves as one of the primary factors — an issue that needs to be addressed in order to aid in poverty reduction efforts throughout the nation.

Among the many causes of poverty in Swaziland, a lack of effective health care is one of the largest concerns. The nation holds the highest rate of HIV prevalence in the world, with 28.8 percent of the adult population living with this life-threatening disease.

As the key driving factors of Swaziland’s HIV epidemic include low and inconsistent condom use, transactional sex, gender inequalities and gender based violence, it is clear that the cycle of poverty supported by this disease disproportionately affects women.

With 120,000 of the 220,000 people living with HIV in Swaziland being women, studies reveal that 31 percent of all women within the country live with HIV, while only 20 percent of men are affected.

Many driving factors contribute to women’s increased risk of contracting HIV, including a lack of access to proper reproductive education and health care. While 14 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 24 have been involved in intergenerational sex with older men, their adolescent age and lack of reproductive education cause them to be at more of a risk to the spread of the disease, often without their knowledge.

According to AVERT, one in three women in Swaziland also report experiencing some form of sexual abuse by the time they were 18. These and other significant gender disparities have ranked Swaziland 137 out of 159 countries in the Gender Inequality Index.

The inequalities women face in Swaziland not only leave them in a more vulnerable position to disease but also serve as the major causes of poverty in Swaziland. As women are the primary caretakers and providers for children worldwide, those disadvantages that women face create a ripple effect of a detriment for the next generation as well.

For every 100,000 live births in Swaziland, 389 women die from pregnancy-related causes, leaving 24 percent of children aged zero to 17 as orphans and 45 percent as either orphans or vulnerable.

These high maternal mortality rates reveal the reality that women’s disproportionate access to health care in Swaziland serves as one of the direct causes of poverty in Swaziland, as it not only affects the mother but also leaves almost half of Swaziland’s adolescent population at an increased risk for poverty.

Through analyzing the direct effects of gender inequality on the next generation’s vulnerability to the cycle of poverty, it is clear that a greater focus needs to be placed on addressing gender disparities within the nation — especially those of female’s access to education and reproductive health care — so as to encourage a significant drop in the poverty rates in Swaziland.

Kendra Richardson

Photo: Flickr

5 Facts about Poverty In Burundi
From 1993 to 2006 a catastrophic civil war engulfed Burundi, amassing a death toll of over 300,000, leaving the country in shambles. 10 years after the official end of the war, Burundi is still trying to get back up on its feet. Following the war, poverty in Burundi increased from 48 to 67 percent of the population. Being ranked as the second most impoverished country in the world, Burundians face a tremendous amount of hardships day after day. Here are five crucial facts to better understand poverty in Burundi:

  1. Burundi is both landlocked and resource-poor with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector which makes it very difficult to survive, thus making the country heavily dependent on foreign aid. In 2014, 42 percent of Burundi’s national income came from foreign aid; this is the second-highest national income to foreign aid rate in all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. Burundi’s civil war forced over 48,000 refugees into Tanzania and displaced 140,000 others internally. Fortunately, after the war, political stability, aid flows and economic activity increased. Unfortunately, however, the war also led to a high poverty rate, poor education, weak legal system, poor transportation network, overstrained utilities and low administrative capacity. Government corruption is also a huge burden Burundians are forced to live with.
  3. In 2015, Burundi faced another hardship with political turmoil over President Nkurunziza’s heavily debated third term. This drama strained Burundi’s economy and caused blocks in transportation routes which disrupted the flow of agricultural goods. To make matters worse, many donors also withdrew their aid, raising tensions throughout the country.
  4. As a result of Burundi’s poverty situation, the median age in Burundi is 17 years old with about 46 percent of the population being 14 years of age or younger. With that being said, Burundi’s infant and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in all of Africa with 16,000 infant deaths per year. Along with infant and maternal mortality, malaria, diarrhea, which accounts for 88 percent of diarrhea-related deaths are attributed to unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation, respiratory infections and the effects of malnutrition are the leading causes of death in Burundi. In 2005, about 53 percent of children under the age of five suffered from growth stunting due to malnutrition.
  5. Burundi’s government aims to provide free basic education, but a lack of funds makes it difficult to acquire the number of teachers and tools necessary for the cause. Drop-out rates of students are also exceedingly high due to hunger.

It is easy to look away from the struggles Burundians face in their day-to-day lives, but they should not continue to suffer while the world turns a blind eye. The civil war may have happened 10 years ago, but this does not mean Burundi is a lost cause. If anything, this country’s situation should open the eyes of individuals throughout the world and spur them into action in order to properly assist and guide Burundians into a much brighter future. With the outside assistance, poverty in Burundi is something that can be overcome.

Bella Chaffey

Photo: Flickr

birthing kit

A birthing kit for low-income women promises to help diminish the adverse health effects of childbirth in poor areas.

According to the World Health Organization, about 830 women die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth around the world every day. “By the end of 2015, roughly 303,000 women will have died during and following pregnancy and childbirth,” the organization reports. “Almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.”

While up to 99 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries, the United States itself has struggled with surprisingly high rates of maternal mortality. A report from Save the Children showed that the United States had the worst maternal death rate among developed countries. In fact, mortality rates in the U.S have been on the rise since 1987.

In developing countries, women often lack the tools and sanitation equipment necessary for a healthy childbirth. The WHO reports that many deaths during childbirth occur due to severe bleeding and infections. “Only 51 percent of women in low-income countries benefit from skilled care during childbirth. This means that millions of births are not assisted by a midwife, a doctor or a trained nurse,” states the WHO.

Zubaida Bai is a woman trying to change all of this. In an interview with TED, Bai describes her background and explains why she became interested in women’s health. “Growing up in India, I witnessed my mother and many women struggle with financial hardship and poor health. At a young age, I often dreamed of solutions to end this silent suffering of women.”

With a Master of science degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Colorado State University, Bai took her skills and founded AYZH, described on its website as “a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women worldwide.”

AYZH has created a simple birthing kit about the size of a purse called a Janma, containing all the materials necessary for a healthy and clean birth, for just two to five dollars. The website states that “the kit contains simple tools recommended by the World Health Organization to provide sanitation and sterility at the time of childbirth, which not only saves the lives of mother and baby but also helps ensure a healthy and happy start to life.”

Michael A. Clark

Photo: Flickr

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 303,000 women will die of maternal causes by the end of 2015. While this figure has been reduced by approximately 44 percent in the past 25 years, improvements to maternal mortality rates still need to be made. Almost 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing regions, two-thirds of which are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1994, Sereen Thaddeus of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Deborah Maine, Professor Emerita at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, linked causes of maternal mortality to “three delays:” delay in seeking care, delay in arrival at a health facility, and delay in the provision of adequate care.

Today, these three delays still make up a framework that helps in understanding what causes maternal deaths.

1. Delay in Seeking Care

Around 28 percent of maternal deaths stem from pre-existing conditions like anemia and malaria, according to WHO. Women, however, may put off seeking prepartum care because of the inadequacy of available health facilities.

The question of agency plays another role in this delay. According to Kingsley Ighobor, in some countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, many women do not make the decisions over their health. This responsibility is instead left to spouses or other relatives.

2. Delay in Arrival at a Health Facility

Those living in rural areas face the major obstacle of distance from healthcare facilities. In developing nations, Thaddeus and Maine pointed out how weak infrastructure often means poor roads and slow transportation methods which can delay a woman’s arrival at a health facility.

Socioeconomic divisions within countries often mean unequal access to health facilities. WHO reports “delivery care… is strongly associated with their income, whether they live in a rural or urban area, and their level of education”.

3. Delay in the Provision of Adequate Care

Postpartum hemorrhage accounts for 27 percent of maternal deaths while obstructed labor constitutes eight percent.

Especially in developing nations, a shortage of staff, insufficient training, little to no antibiotic availability and more means health facilities are often ill-equipped to respond to a mother’s needs during and after her pregnancy.

Inadequate sanitation can also be detrimental to mothers. Maternal deaths as a result of infection rank at 15 percent.

Solutions moving forward

Goal Three, Target 3.1 of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals seeks to “reduce the global maternal mortality rate to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.”

Achieving this goal may call for tackling the three delays that play a central role in the causes of maternal mortality.

“One of the easiest ways to continue to reduce the rate of maternal mortalities is to improve access to reproductive health”, Dana Dovey of Medical Daily said.

Educating women and relatives on reproductive health along with strengthening the infrastructure of health facilities is necessary to ensure mothers have the help they need for safe pregnancies.

Jocelyn Lim

Sources: Medical Daily, Kingsley Ighobor, Nawal M. Nour, Sereen Thaddeus and Deborah Maine, United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO), WHO report on health from MDGs to SGDs, WHO: Trends in maternal mortality, 1990-2015
Picture: Google Images