Maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa still a major challenge : Uganda's perspective
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World Health Organization (WHO) defines Maternal mortality as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes” while Maternal health as “the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period”. Maternal health status of the mother which includes the environment before and during pregnancy matters greatly since it significantly impacts a lot on the health and well-being of a child’s health. Therefore, achieving optimal child health highly depends on the health and well-being of a child’s mother. State of maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa Every day in 2017, according to WHO, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy or childbirth. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than two thirds of all these maternal deaths per year worldwide. A whopping 533 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births occur in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2019). Recent data from WHO shows that inequalities in access to quality health services between rich and poor has accounted for high maternal mortality rate (MMR) in low income countries. For example in 2017 according to WHO, MMR was 462 per 100 000 live births in low income countries and only 11 per 100 000 live births in high income countries. This shows that there is a lot needed to be done in Sub-Saharan Africa especially if a Sustainable Development goal of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births between 2016 and 2030 is to be achieved.