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

Boat Clinics Serve India's Isolated Villages

We load up in an SUV and make our way through the streets of Guwahati. It is raining, and much of this major city in northeastern India is flooded. Cars, men pedaling rickshaws and our SUV slowly edge their way through the water-filled streets. The water looks orange, stained from the clay that has eroded from the surrounding hills and clogged Guwahati’s drains. We are headed to meet a boat that will take a group of medical staff and us to visit a remote island on the Brahmaputra River.

The Dangers of Childbirth in Southern Mexico

Among dozens of other brightly dressed women, Eugenia Urbina has been waiting on the stairs of the main hospital in this central Chiapas town for nearly two hours. Nine months pregnant with her third child, the 24-year-old seeks prenatal care. The long wait makes her worry that when the time comes to give birth, the hospital will not have room for her.

"It happens a lot," Urbina said, and if it does, she'll have to pay more than she can afford to drive around in a taxi for up to an hour to find a clinic that can take her.

Mexico: Ethnic and Gender Inequalities

I first meet Maria Francisca Mendoza on the roof deck of a woman's organization known colloquially as Casa de la Mujer, where along with five other young women she is putting the finishing touches on a vagina made out of clay. They are now starting in on a set of brightly colored Fallopian Tubes.

Mexico: Protests in Oaxaca

I have only been in Oaxaca a few days when the protests start. In this, Mexico's second poorest state, political upheaval and fights over social justice go hand in hand with languid tourism, a vibrant art scene, and some of Mexico's best cooking. The central plaza, known as the Zocalo, is usually a giant tourist attraction and town meeting place, filled with overpriced restaurants, hawkers selling curios, old women pushing textiles, and children selling cigarettes and candy.