DAISY MAFUBELU: We have between 180 million and 210 million pregnancies every year. Of these, 80 million are unwanted pregnancies. Some result in 50 million induced abortions. And of those abortions, 20 million are unsafe abortions. And they result in 68 000 deaths. Twenty million women suffer from maternal morbidity. Sometimes that is an aspect that we tend to ignore. We talk about maternal death, which is very critical, but those that survive end up with other conditions.


It is estimated that we are losing 536 000 women due to child-birth every year. This is the latest estimation of 2005. The previous estimation was 529 000. So, there’€™s an increase in absolute numbers. There are a lot of reasons (for that), sometimes related to the fact that we are now reporting. And you would know that as you report more, as you try to find out more, then the numbers are likely to increase.


But this state is still not acceptable that one woman dies every minute due to maternal-related causes, three million newborns die within the first week of life, three million babies are born dead, almost 10 million children under five die, about half a million infants are infected with HIV, and 700 000 infants are born with congenital syphilis. This is what we are confronted with, globally.


NOTE: A maternal death is defined as ‘€œthe death of a woman as a result of pregnancy or child-birth complications or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes’€.