Every Mother Counts

Around the world, statistics related to maternal health and mortality are 
staggering. Below, a look at 20 numbers that are a matter of life and 

1. A woman dies every *90 seconds* during pregnancy or childbirth. 

2. That mortality rate amounts to more than *350,000* deaths per year or 
more than 1,000 a day. 

3. *Ninety-nine percent* of all maternal deaths occur in developing 

4. *One woman in 11* dies in pregnancy or childbirth in Afghanistan. 

5. The United States ranks *50th* in the world in maternal mortality, with 
higher death rates than most European countries as well some in Asia and 
the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization. 

6. *One-third* of all births worldwide are performed without a skilled 

7. In 2011, more than *50 million* babies were delivered without the aid of 
a skilled birth attendant. 

8. Adding *350,000* midwives overseas could save the lives of as many as 
3.6 million mothers and children. 

9. A *10 percent* increase in skilled health workers corresponds to a 5 
percent reduction in maternal deaths. 

10. *Eighty percent* of maternal deaths could be prevented by 
cost-effective, timely health care before, during and after childbirth, 
including family planning, skilled attendance at birth, emergency medical 
services and care in the weeks after birth. 

11. *One in 7* girls in developing countries is married by the age of 15. 

12. Girls younger than 15 are *five times* more likely to die while giving 

13. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are a significant cause 
of death among adolescent girls, ages 15-19, resulting in nearly 
*70,000*deaths each year. 

14. About *215 million* women who want to control the size of their 
families don't have access to family planning. 

15. Each year, modern contraceptive use prevents *188 million* unintended 

16. The use of contraceptives helps prevent a projected *150,000* maternal 

17. Fulfilling the unmet need for family planning would reduce maternal 
mortality by *32 percent*. 

18. More family planning would also reduce infant mortality by *10 percent*. 

19. Programs that deliver health messages to women's mobile phones provide 
specific information about nutrition, prenatal care, immunization schedules 
and how to treat diarrhea and pneumonia in children. Nearly *25 million moms 
* around the world are already receiving health messages delivered through 
the Internet and hundreds of thousands of mothers receive this information 
through their phones. 

20. Despite advances such as mobile health messages, only *23* countries 
are on target to meet Millennium Development Goal 5, to reduce maternal 
mortality by 75 percent by 2015. 

* Sources: Every Mother Counts, Girl Up-United Nations Foundation, 
Guttmacher Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation, Save the Children, United 
Nations, White Ribbon Alliance and World Health Organization.* 

 *Save the Lives of Mothers Around the World: Join the Million Moms 
Challenge.* <http://abcnews.go.com/millionmomschallenge

* Watch the full story on the latest episode of