Global Health: Reproductive Health

Most maternal deaths, due to complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth, are preventable, and great strides have been made in improving maternal health and reducing the number of deaths. Between 1990 and 2013, maternal mortality dropped by 45 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet, every day approximately 800 women still die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In 2013, the number of maternal deaths worldwide was 289,000 women.

Maternal health impacts families, communities and societies with far-reaching effects, especially in developing countries, where 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur. The risk of maternal mortality is highest for girls under 15, many of whom have no access to contraception.

Our Pulitzer Center grantees have reported from many countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Guinea Bissau, India, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia and Nigeria. They are covering a wide range of issues—teenage pregnancy, child marriage, illegal abortion, religious beliefs and attitudes towards family planning, and poor infrastructure. Their stories highlight the severity of the reproductive health crisis as well as some of the many efforts made to give more women access to better and safer healthcare.

Global Health: Reproductive Health

Maternal Mortality in Belize

Throughout the world, one woman dies during childbirth every 90 seconds…. While the United States has seen an increase in maternal mortality, Belize is finding ways to improve maternal health.The World Health Organization reports that, with a rate of 11 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies, the U.S. ranks behind more than 40 other countries…. Some health officials say that an increase in the age of pregnant women, as well as obesity, diabetes, and the number of c-sections and induced labors have led to this increase….

How Boat Clinics are Transforming Rural India

Boat clinics in India provide family planning services, immunizations, antenatal care to pregnant women and basic healthcare to socially and geographically isolated villages along the Brahmaptra River. But there are still hurdles to overcome.

A fisherman stands knee-deep in the river as a boat pulls up to the bank in the northeastern Indian village of Tengatoli. A crew made up of doctors, nurses, and one pharmacist grab bags of medical supplies and lug a large generator toward the bamboo homes in the distance.

In the Kano Maternity Ward

Families in Kano, Nigeria struggle to procure blood for mothers suffering from obstetric hemorrhage during delivery. A new blood bank next to the hospital offers hope.

This segment was produced by Outer Voices. The Outer Voices podcast series was made possible with the support of the Schulz Donor Advised Fund of Sonoma County.

Boat Clinics on the Brahmaputra

The mighty Brahmaputra River separates thousands from adequate healthcare facilities in Assam, India. Boat Clinics run by the Center for Northeast Studies and Policy Research navigate through the shallow waters to reach the inhabitants of the river's islands.

This segment was produced by Outer Voices. Support for Hanna Wingber Win's reporting was provided by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This Outer Voices podcast series was made possible with the support of the Schulz Donor Advised Fund of Sonoma County.