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October 20, 2003

Meaningful Stastics II

Whereas we have a tendency to focus on AIDs as one of the top health concerns throughout Africa, sometimes we forget to look at other health issues. Or even the overall state of health care--a moving target depending on the country being scrutinized, to be sure, but a general state of slow erosion despite the humanitarian aid sent year after year.

This, in particular, deals with the lack of care for women during childbirth.

African women are 175 times more likely to die in childbirth than Westerners, a UN report says.

Overall, African woman have a one in 16 chance of dying in child birth - but the report says many deaths could be avoided.
In 2000 95% of the 529,000 maternal deaths occured in Africa and Asia.
The report is the first time a new analytical technique has been used to estimate the number of maternal deaths in countries where accurate figures are hard to come by.

It shows that in the year 2000, the death rate among mothers per 100,000 live births was 920 in sub-Saharan Africa.

In developed countries it was just 20. In south central Asia it was 520, and in southeastern Asia 210.

This is not simply an issue, though, of women's health care; it is a reflection of the poor state of health care throughout most of the continent. The problem is a lack of trained health care professionals, facilities, and, often, a stable economy and infrastructure to support existing care facilities.

The UN report that noted these statistics was right to be alarmed--the loss of lives is tragic. The question of the day, though, is what can possibly be done to begin to address the problem--and, in addressing this problem, addressing a host of others.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at October 20, 2003 09:20 AM

Given these statistics, it's a good thing no one is urging Africans to shun birth control.

On, no, wait...


Posted by: David Strain at October 20, 2003 03:51 PM
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