About this Gapminder Video
How many women die every year during pregnancy and childbirth? Do we even know?
The most qualified guess tells us that about 500 000 women die every year because of pregnancy. However, the numbers are so uncertain, that we can’t even tell if the situation improves from one year to another.
So, if the uncertainty about the maternal mortality is so high, is there any point of measuring maternal mortality at all? And how can we tell if things are improving?
The answers are: Yes it is. And there are better ways of monitoring progress for pregnant women in the world.
While maternal mortality cannot be used to measure progress year by year towards safe motherhood, at least not in low income countries, we need to know the magnitude of the problem. Therefore we need to know roughly how many women dies every year while giving birth.
But in order to solve the problem, and to see if we are improving from one year to another, we should look at other indicators such as how many births that are attended by skilled health staff.