FACTS: CHILDBIRTH STATISTICS
- Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death and disability among women worldwide. In some countries, a woman's chance of death during childbirth is one in seven. Worldwide, there are 1,600 maternal deaths each day; one every minute. Over half a million women will die each year from childbirth related complications.
- At the beginning of the century, maternal death rates were 1 for every 100 live births. In the United States today, there is 1 maternal death in 10,000 births, representing a 99% decline. In many countries, the maternal death rates remain unchanged from antiquity. Tragically, most deaths could be prevented.
- Treatments to avoid maternal deaths have been known since the 1930’s and include aseptic technique, the use of cesarean section, fluid management and blood transfusion, antibiotic availability, and better prenatal care.
- One in 10 newborns will require resuscitation at birth. Each year, millions of babies are poorly resuscitated, leading to lifelong disability or death. Simple training to assist a baby in breathing at birth could prevent this. The first minutes of life are critical and health care workers must be trained to systematically assess and manage newborn asphyxia.
- In many countries, protocols for newborn resuscitation are not utilized and oxygen-deprived neonates are stimulated to cry by persistent slapping. Contemporary protocols do not include slapping, but rather oxygen administration in a warm setting to prevent brain and neurological damage. Educational initiatives to teach simple protocols for newborn resuscitation must be established in developing countries.
It is clear that inadequate health care contributes to needless death and disability of mothers and newborns in countries around the world. The most current medical knowledge and procedures are not available in many countries. Yet, physicians and nurses are keen to educate themselves in the techniques that are routine in the western world.
Kybele has seen firsthand how expanding education with hands-on training can dramatically improve medical practices. Our goal is to reduce maternal and newborn suffering and death. Kybele is about teaching, hands-on facilitation and creating ongoing medical education partnerships to improve childbirth safety.