September 22, 2023

Lara Adejoro

Nigeria, South Sudan, and Chad are said to have recorded extremely high maternal mortality rate in 2020.

This is according to the latest estimates released in a report by United Nations agencies.

The report titled ‘Trends in maternal mortality’, which tracked maternal deaths nationally, regionally and globally from 2000 to 2020, showed there were an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2020.

The estimation marks only a slight decrease from 309,000 in 2016 when the Sustainable Development Goals came into effect.

The report read in part, “The regional-level burden of maternal mortality obscures important differences among countries and territories. Three countries – all in sub-Saharan Africa – were estimated to have extremely high Maternal Mortality Ratio in 2020 (over 1,000): South Sudan (1,223; UI 746 to 2009), Chad (1063; UI 772 to 1586) and Nigeria (1047; UI 793 to 1565).

“Outside the sub-Saharan African region, only one country, Haiti, had a high MMR (350; UI 239 to 550) and one country, Afghanistan, had a very high MMR (620; UI 406 to 1050) in 2020.”

The report noted that Nigeria had the highest absolute number of maternal deaths, reflecting its larger population size.

Commenting on the report, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said while pregnancy should be a time of immense hope and a positive experience for all women, it was tragically still a shockingly dangerous experience for millions around the world who lacked access to high quality, respectful health care.

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