Maternal Mortality: Hopeful Glimmer

One statistic raised a hopeful glimmer at last week’s NYC meeting commemorating the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1995 World Conference on Women, according to an NPR Goats and Soda report:

Since 1995 the rate of women worldwide who die in childbirth has dropped by more than 40 percent.

The good news behind the good news. It’s not because a few big gains in big countries; it holds true for at least 76 countries.

Some standouts: The maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan fell by 66%; and Angola, Laos and Rwanda posted similar successes.

Reality check: The global maternal mortality rate remains stubbornly high at 210 deaths per 100,000 live births and 289,000 women die from childbirth each year.

NPR Goats and Soda

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