Maternal Mortality Studies

Every minute of every day, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy, approximately 600,000 deaths per year.  At least ninety-five percent of these deaths are preventable according to a study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

According to the UNFPA report, to prevent these deaths more focus is needed on the low status and education level of women, their extreme poverty and lack of access to basic and emergency health care and basic sanitation services.



PHI volunteer Dr. Jose Vargas-Bozo discusses with a group of pregnant women the appropriate care necessary to insure safe childbirth. Los Ceibitos, Ecuador, 2002.




This program is a relatively new endeavor of Public Health International.  As a first step, PHI has obtained grants from the Rotary Foundation to send volunteers to Russia and Bolivia to conduct extensive research on maternal mortality in those countries.  PHI is will design appropriate interventions and initiate follow-up programs.

A tragic result of maternal mortality is that every mother’s death creates at least one more orphan and often several.  This has both personal and public health consequences.


PHI is addressing maternal mortality through research and education directed at the development of prevention programs.  However, PHI is also working to provide support to orphanages like the one where the children in this photo live, Hurba Children’s Home #2, Hurba, Komsomolsk District, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia.




Both Russia and Bolivia have extremely high levels of maternal mortality. Bolivia as a country has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world and Potosi, the site of the Bolivian study, has the single highest maternal mortality rate in the world.