The State of the World's Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health

Having a child remains one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide. Fifteen hundred women die every day while giving birth. Thats a half a million mothers every year. The State of the Worlds Children 2009 addresses maternal mortality, one of the most intractable problems for development work. The difference in pregnancy risk between women in developing countries and their peers in the industrialized world is often termed the greatest health divide in the world. A woman in Niger has a one in seven chance of dying during the course of her lifetime from complications during pregnancy or delivery. Thats in stark contrast to the risk for mothers in America, where its one in 4,800 or in Ireland, where its just one in 48,000. Addressing that gap is a multidisciplinary challenge, requiring an emphasis on education, human resources, community involvement and social equality. At a minimum, women must be guaranteed antenatal care, skilled birt