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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 India: Hanna Ingber

Freelance journalist Hanna Ingber Win's photos, from the tea gardens of Assam, India. Assam has India's highest maternal mortality rate. Hanna went there to interview families who'd lost their mothers, and health care workers who try to help pregnant mothers get the medical help they need.

Life beyond birth, India

If Sulekha Lohar had only had access to an ambulance instead of that handcart.

If the clinic just had a doctor, instead of just empty shelves.

If the hospital only had a bloodbank, as we hear from American journalist Hanna Ingber Win, Sulekha's children might still have their Mother.

Also, a troubling closeup on reproductive health in one small part of the developing world there from Hanna, who specialises in maternal mortality reporting.

Looking for hope in child brides

I had written about child marriage before. When I went to Ethiopia, I visited a program for girls who had fled early marriage in their villages and ended up in the capital Addis Ababa. I met a classroom full of such young girls. With their schoolbooks in hand, they looked like kids, not brides. I talked to some of the girls in depth about how their desire to continue their schooling had pushed them to leave their families and traditions behind and flee to what they hoped would be a better life. These girls had dreams, and the courage to pursue them.

India: Married as Children

Growing up in a small village in northeastern India, Hasina Khatun spent her days helping her aunt around the house and playing with her siblings. She did not drop out of school; she never started. Hasina began menstruating at the age of 13 and soon after her aunt, who raised her after her mother died, told her it was time to get married. Hasina did not understand what her aunt meant, or that her life was about to change dramatically.

Tackling Tuberculosis in Southern Mexico

Efforts to control tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant forms of the disease face extra hurdles in Mexico's poorer states. Samuel Loewenberg reports from Chiapas, southern Mexico. The village of Los Chorros lies in a lush valley reached by a dirt track at the end of a mountain road that winds past brick and wooden huts with thatched roofs, and terraced agricultural fields (see webvideo). At the top of a small hill is a yellow concrete building with a corrugated metal roof.

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