Issue

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

Maricela Zurita Cruz: Voice for Mexican Indigenous Women's Health

Growing up in the mountain village of San Juan Quiahije, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, Maricela Zurita Cruz saw from an early age the special health burdens that affect women there. The women face many obstacles: they are Indigenous, and so confront special problems of language and racism; they have little education and must deal with strong macho attitudes in their own communities; and they are poor people who face difficulty accessing the state's already stretched health-care system.

The Edge of Joy - Trailer

In the U.S. 1 in 4,800 women die in childbirth. In Nigeria it is 1 in 18. In the one-hour documentary, The Edge of Joy, filmmaker Dawn Sinclair Shapiro closely follows an ensemble cast of Nigerian doctors, nurses, midwives and religious leaders as they battle the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. The Edge of Joy is a character driven, cinematic expedition ranging from deep within Nigeria's semi-arid lands of the isolated Islamic north to the lush-savannahs of the volatile Christian south.

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