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Maternal Mortality Is Alarming

Dr. Jamila Yac’oob

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Many mothers face severe obstacles in accessing health care services necessary to save their lives from the risks of complications that occur during the pregnancy, childbirth or the postpartum period, where the maternal mortality rates in many countries are still unacceptably high, not a single day passes without about 830 women dying worldwide as a result of pregnancy and childbirth complications. It was estimated that in 2015 AD,  303,000 women died during the pregnancy or childbirth, and it is worth noting that almost all of these deaths occurred in the under-resourced developing countries.


The maternal mortality ratio in developing countries has reached twice the level of the one in the developed countries. In 2015 AD, the mortality rate was approximately 239 deaths per 100,000 births in the developing countries, compared to 12 deaths per 100,000 in the developed countries, with a large discrepancy among and within the countries as well as among the women with high and low income, who are  living in the rural and urban areas.


Teenage girls under the age of 15 years old also face the greatest risk of maternal death, and complications that occur during pregnancy and childbirth which are the most important causes of death for these teenage girls in the developing countries.

Most of these deaths occur in the developing countries, thus Yemen is one of these countries that suffer from a high rate of maternal mortality, and this is due to several reasons, including:

  • Lack of importance of following up on pregnancy due to ignorance and poverty.

  • Absence of adequate health services due to the inability to access those services.

  • Unaffordable transportation costs; as going to the health service providers become an urgent solution as they are the last resort for the women and children, especially in remote, rural and war-affected areas.

  • Working has stopped in some health facilities in some governorates due to the lack of staff, scarcity of supplies or inability to cover operational costs, while operating facilities suffer from a severe shortage of medicines, equipment and staff.


These and other causes endanger lives and increase the maternal mortality rate, which has been on the rise since the escalation of the conflict in Yemen.


The increase, according to the indicators of the World Health Organization, which ranged from 5 maternal deaths per day in 2013 to 12 deaths per day in 2018. It happens that a woman out of every 260 women dies during the pregnancy or childbirth. Only three births out of ten took place in the  health facilities, and one child out of 37 born in the first month dies, all because of complications that occur during and after pregnancy and childbirth.

Because of these complications, women die, although most of them were preventable or treatable, and the most important complications are:

• Heavy bleeding that occurs after childbirth.

• Infection, usually after childbirth.

• High blood pressure during the pregnancy.

• Difficulty during the birth.

• Unsafe abortion.

• Infection with some diseases such as malaria, anemia, malnutrition and other viral infections.

A situation like this requires a set of urgent and necessary treatments, as follows:

  1. Concentrating resources to serve poor, marginalized and displacement communities.

  2. Resuming the payment of salaries to the health sector workers and support the provision of incentives to employees involved in providing life-saving services.

  3. Addressing the inequities in providing reproductive and maternal health care services.

  4. Ensuring the comprehensive health coverage of reproductive and primary health care for mothers.

  5. Addressing all the causes of maternal mortality, reproductive morbidity and resulting disabilities.

  6. Strengthening the health systems to collect high-quality data in order to respond to the needs and priorities of women and girls.

  7. Ensuring accountability for improving the quality of health care and the equity in its distribution at the treatment level.

  8. Establishing the health facilities and hospitals, and training and providing medical staff in all the regions of Yemen so that women can easily access the health services during the pregnancy and childbirth.


 In conclusion, the problem of the maternal mortality remains everyone's responsibility.  There are approximately 90% of these deaths that can be avoided by providing the necessary needs and following the correct and proper methods in the necessary treatments.

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