Imprimir Republish


Deaths during pregnancy or childbirth

Women wait to be examined at a hospital maternity ward in central Liberia

Zoom Dosso/ AFP via Getty Images

The maternal mortality rate in Brazil increased from 68 deaths per 100,000 live births to 72 between 2000 and 2020. The number of live births fell from 3.48 million to 2.78 million over the two decades. Due to a lack of medical care, maternal deaths have increased or stagnated in almost all regions of the world: on average, one woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth every 2 minutes worldwide, according to the report “Trends in maternal mortality,” released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February. “These new statistics reveal the urgent need to ensure every woman and girl has access to critical health services before, during, and after childbirth, and that they can fully exercise their reproductive rights,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus when the report was published. Approximately one-third of women do not undergo four of the eight recommended prenatal tests or receive essential postnatal care, while an estimated 270 million do not have access to modern family planning methods. In 2020, around 70% of all maternal deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, caused by severe bleeding, high blood pressure, pregnancy-related infections, complications from unsafe abortion, and underlying conditions that can be aggravated by pregnancy, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. In Chad, the average maternal mortality rate is 1,063 women for every 100,000 live births. In Germany, it is 5 for every 100,000.