By Laura Shin
Posting in Government
A study concluded that the maternal death rate worldwide could be cut by about 30%, thereby saving the lives of 104,000 women.
The study, published in The Lancet and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is reinvigorating the push to combat maternal deaths, an issue that has been overshadowed in recent years by the fight against AIDS and ideological battles.
The study was published last week just before an international conference organized by the British Government and the Gates Foundation, during which 20 developing countries committed to help deliver contraceptives to an additional 120 million women and girls, which is estimated to cost $4.3 billion.
This represents a new influx of cash to an issue that, in 1995, represented 55% of international population assistance, but by 2008 comprised only 6% of such funding. (Spending on HIV/AIDS accounted for 74% of such funding in 2008.)
Using maternal mortality and survey data from the United Nations and the World Health Organization, the researchers estimated that 342,200 women died of maternal causes in 2008. The researchers, of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, also concluded that contraception prevented an additional 272,000 maternal deaths.
Finally, they estimated that another 104,000 maternal deaths a year could be averted by providing contraception to women who want it but don't have access to it.
The study states that birth control reduces maternal mortality for several reasons:
- It delays first pregnancies, which are especially risky in very young women
- It reduces the number of unsafe abortions, which are responsible for 13% of all maternal deaths in developing countries
- It cuts the number of pregnancies that are too closely spaced to each other in the same mother
The researchers acknowledged a wekaness in their study: that records of maternal mortality in developing countries could be unreliable.
Melinda Gates has pushed to cut the number of maternal deaths, saying in April:
Somewhere along the way we got confused by our own conversation and we stopped trying to save these lives. We're not talking about abortion. We're not talking about population control. What I'm talking about is giving women the power to save their lives.
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via: The New York Times
Jul 15, 2012
This just in - study done on how to reduce 33% of all car crashes - take the bus. Why are these women dying here and not in developed nations? Well it must be because developed nations use contraception, right? It certainly couldn't be the technology availbe in developed nations in their hospital facilities or medical facilities. If I were Bill & Melinda Gates, I'd be furious! Unless of course it fits their political agenda...
Hi t0mmyt, You're partly right, but only partly. As you can see, contraception will only reduce maternal mortality by about 30%. So, perhaps the other 70% of maternal mortality is due to modern medical care. But as laid out above, contraception can prevent the pregnancies in very young girls that often result in the deaths of their undeveloped bodies, the unwanted pregnancies that cause the mother's to seek unsafe abortions and the pregnancies that are too closely spaced. It's not the solution for the other 70%, but it seems the Gates Foundation has decided that we should try to solve the 30% we can prevent. Laura
@ t0mmyt woman die in developed nations every day due to unsafe abortions that could have been prevented in the first place by proper education and contraception availability. You are very naive to think this only happens in the third world and if the rethugs have their way america will become a 3rd world nation too where only the elite have access to education and contraception.