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1 500 Women Die Giving Birth – ZIMSTAT

More than 1 500 women died while giving birth in Zimbabwe in the last 12 months, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT).

The data is based on survey results collected during the 2022 population and housing census.

Presenting the report on mortality and orphanhood in Harare on Tuesday, ZIMSTAT director-general Taguma Mahonde said:

A total of 1 589 maternal deaths were reported against 437 478 live births giving a national maternal mortality ratio (MMR) — the number of maternal deaths per live birth, multiplied by a conventional factor of 100 000 — of 363 deaths per 100 000.

Most worrying is that if you try to understand what the MMR figure of 363 deaths per 100 000 means, we have an average of four women who are dying every day while they are giving birth.

From the maternal death surveillance and response programmes, we know that the main causes being given are eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) which is largely preventable.

Furthermore, MMR was higher in rural areas (402 deaths per 100 000 live births) than in urban areas (298 per 100 000 live births).

United Nations Population Fund programmes specialist Piason Mlambo said the statistics showed that Zimbabwe recorded an average of four daily deaths during labour. Said Mlambo:

Most worrying is that if you try to understand what the MMR figure of 363 deaths per 100 000 means, we have an average of four women who are dying every day while they are giving birth.

From the maternal death surveillance and response programmes we know that the main causes being given are eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) which is largely preventable.

Furthermore, MMR was higher in rural areas (402 deaths per 100 000 live births) than in urban areas (298 per 100 000 live births).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined maternal mortality as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. | NewsDay

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