World health organization

10 facts on maternal health

A trained health worker examines a mother and her newborn baby in a clinic, Kenya
WHO/A. Fort

Fact 6

Most maternal deaths can be prevented

Most of these deaths can be prevented through skilled care at childbirth and access to emergency obstetric care. In sub-Saharan Africa, where maternal mortality ratios are the highest, less than 50% of women are attended by a trained midwife, nurse or doctor during childbirth. Women and girls living in fragile states or those in humanitarian crises face some of the highest risks because health systems are often broken in these situations, exposing the most vulnerable.

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