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A world that still waits
More resources need to be diverted to reduce MMR in developing and underdeveloped countries, particularly from military spending

Every time a woman dies while giving birth to a child due to an inefficient and ill equipped medical facilities it is a crippling shame for humanity. Considering how such tragedies still happen in huge numbers, it’s evident that we aren’t really learning or repenting enough.

Recent data revealed by The Lancet, a UK-based medical journal, showed that for the first time in decades, the world has seen a significant decline in death due to pregnancy and childbirth to 342,900 in 2008 from 526,300 in 1980. But the death toll in developing and underdeveloped countries remains pretty startling. Around 85% of the world’s maternity-related deaths take place in Africa alone. Sierra Leone has the highest MMR, as 2,000 out of 1,00,000 population die every year. Over 36,000 women die every year in Nigeria. WHO estimates that between 300,000 to 500,000 women die during childbirth each year, while 3.6 million newborns do not survive their first month and an additional 5.2 million children die before they are five. India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia & Democratic Republic of Congo account for over half of maternal deaths.

In the developing world, the risk of death from complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth over the course of a woman’s lifetime is one in 76, compared to one in 8,000 in the industrialized world. There is a need to educate people about pregnancy and how to minimise complications and a need to build strong, efficient and adequate healthcare systems.

UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon had mentioned in 2007 how world military spending had reached $1.2 trillion, and added, “Even if 1% of it were redirected towards development, the world would be much closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” But are the saner voices being heard at all?

By:- Akram Hoque

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