Online map of maternal health to inform and influence world leaders

Nov 19, 2010
Online map of maternal health to inform and influence world leaders

Researchers from the University of Southampton have helped construct an online interactive world map which gives stark facts and figures about the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and following the birth of their child.

Social scientists Professor Zoe Matthews and Dr Sarah Neal are working in collaboration with the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and the University of Aberdeen on a joint project worth in excess of £160,000 called ‘The Atlas of Birth’, which also includes a book, short film and flyers.

“We are using data from the United Nations and the World Health Organization to give a comprehensive picture of from around the world. Part of the project involves presenting the information in an easy-to-use online map, to help get key facts direct to policymakers,” comments Professor Matthews of the University’s Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty and Policy.

Funded by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the Norwegian government, the project includes statistics on a wide range of issues including maternal deaths, pregnancies to very young girls and midwife contact.

Latest figures from the WHO show more than 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries and most of these in a handful of nations. Most of the very high rates of death are seen in sub-Saharan Africa, but India has the highest number of deaths, with 63,000 women dying every year.

Women in developing countries often become a mother very young, experience many closely spaced births, and run a risk as high as one in 11 of dying in across their lifetimes. In particular, girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die giving birth than women in their 20s.

Care from a midwife or professional with midwifery skills during birth is key to saving lives of both mothers and newborns. Despite this, the figures show two thirds of women in the poorest countries deliver without a midwife or other health worker.

“This interactive map will enable advocates across the world to quickly and effectively lobby governments, influence policymakers and inform the media, as public pressure grows to end the tragic and almost always preventable deaths of girls and in childbirth,” comments Brigid McConville, Director of the WRA in the UK.

Explore further: Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

More information: The new online world map was unveiled at the PMNCH Partner’s Forum in Delhi, India (Nov 2010). To view the online version of the ‘Atlas of Birth’, please go to this address: www.atlasofbirth.com/index.php

Provided by University of Southampton

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WHO cuts global estimate for maternal deaths

Sep 15, 2010

(AP) -- The World Health Organization said Wednesday that fewer women die each year from complications during pregnancy and childbirth than previously estimated, but efforts to sharply cut maternal mortality by 2015 are ...

Huge proportion of maternal deaths worldwide are preventable

Feb 19, 2008

A study published in PLoS Medicine this week suggests that of women who die during pregnancy and childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa, more may die from treatable infectious diseases than from conditions directly linked to pre ...

Alternative strategies to reduce maternal mortality in India

Apr 20, 2010

A study by Sue J. Goldie and colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health published this week in PLoS Medicine finds that better family planning, provision of safe abortion, and improved intrapartum and emergency obstet ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

7 minutes ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

1 hour ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

User comments : 0