Motherhood should be an exciting time filled with joy and happiness.
But for many women in the Asia-Pacific region becoming a mother means a high risk of death.
Sadly, this Mother’s Day, as many mums around the world celebrate the birth of a baby, a staggering 830 women won’t survive childbirth. Globally, more than 300,000 women die each year from birth-related causes.
Burnet Institute Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health, Professor Caroline Homer AO, says nearly all of these deaths are preventable.
“Becoming a mother in Australia is a wonderful thing and usually filled with joy and happiness, but in other countries it’s not always the same. It’s scary,” Professor Homer said.
“Young women going into labour in these countries are frightened because they know their sisters have died, or their neighbours have died.”
Professor Homer says Australia’s closest neighbour is one of the world’s most dangerous places to go into labour.
“Of the countries in Asia-Pacific with the highest maternal mortality rates, Papua New Guinea – one hour north of Cairns – is number two,” she said.
“That kind of disparity and inequity is worth thinking about on Mother’s Day.”
Maintaining progress in reducing maternal mortality
Burnet Institute Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health, Dr Elissa Kennedy, says that while maternal mortality rates have improved in the past 25 years, there is considerable work to be done in developing countries.
“Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the amazing women in our lives, and celebrate the progress that has been made to improve maternal health globally,” Dr Kennedy said.
“However, complications of pregnancy and childbirth remain among the leading causes of death of adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries.
Dr Kennedy says her work focuses on improving health for the next generation of mothers.
“Complications of pregnancy and childbirth remain among the leading causes of death of adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries, but it doesn’t have to be this way – most of these deaths are preventable,” she said.
Burnet’s work in maternal and child health
Improving the quality of maternal and newborn care in low- and middle-income countries
Educating and supporting midwives in the Asia-Pacific region
Understanding the drivers and impacts of early pregnancy in Asia-Pacific
Developing approaches that enable and empower girls to delay motherhood
This website was developed with the generous support of a donor.
Burnet Institute (Australia) is located on the traditional land of the Boon Wurrung people and we offer our respects to their Elders past and present. We recognise and respect the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this land.
It looks like something may have gone wrong, and some of the resources required to load the page may not have loaded correctly.