South Africa has slashed its maternal mortality death ratios in public health hospitals by almost a third (29%) within seven years. Between 2009 and 2016, institutional maternal death ratios decreased from 189 per 100 000 live births to 134 per 100 000, according to a study published in a maternal and child health edition of the South African Medical Journal(SAMJ) in March.

Maternal deaths, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, happen when women die while they’re pregnant, during childbirth or within 42 days after giving birth. Institutional maternal deaths, however, are measured only for maternal deaths that happen in public health facilities.

The latest figures indicate that, in 2016, 55 fewer women per 100 000 live births had died than in 2009. In actual figures, that translates to 400 fewer deaths in 2016…..more