Maternal Mortality Rates Soar

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reported that the Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. According to IRIN News, the UNFPA cited complications from pregnancy and childbirth and the lack of natal health care as the main reasons for the high number of deaths among women in the Sudan.

Currently, according to the UNFPA, 590 women die per 100,000 live births in the Sudan, compared to 17 per 100,000 live births in the United States. In response to this and the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan, the UNFPA has allocated $1.4 million to begin programs on sexually transmitted infections, motherhood, HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence, IRIN reports.

Shockingly, other nations have even higher rates of maternal mortality. The two highest are also war-torn: Sierra Leone, with 2,000 women dying per 100,000 live births, and Afghanistan, with 1,900.

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UNFPA ÒState of World Population 2004Ó; Reuters 12/10/04; IRIN News 12/10/04, Feminist Daily News Wire 12/8/04, 10/21/04

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