Maternal and Perinatal Conditions
Every year, about half a million women worldwide die from complications
of pregnancy and childbirth -- mainly severe bleeding, infections, unsafe
abortions, hypertension, and obstructed labour. More than 90% of these
deaths occur in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And most of them could
be prevented at low cost.
In addition, over 50 million women suffer from acute pregnancy-related
conditions -- over a third of them with long-term, painful, and often
distressing conditions that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
They include permanent incontinence, chronic pain, nerve and muscle
damage, and infertility.
Meanwhile, perinatal conditions are the major cause of death among
children under five -- accounting for more than one in five deaths.
Of these, over 3 million die during the first week of life. Most deaths
are the result of poor maternal health and nutrition, inadequate care
during pregnancy and delivery, lack of essential care for the newborn
baby, infections, birth injury, asphyxia, and problems relating to premature
Integrated Management of Pregnancy and Childbirth (IMPAC)
This low-cost strategy, based on WHO's Mother-Baby Package, which
costs no more than US$ 3 a year per capita in low-income countries,
is designed to prevent maternal and infant deaths and the often lifelong
disability due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
The strategy involves ensuring access to: