We have medicine to prevent hemorrhage after childbirth, but it is not reaching women in developing countries. Expert Beth Yeager discusses how we can make sure this lifesaving technology is available to those who need it.
Although we now have the technology to launch an electric car into space using reusable booster rockets, and, to give a more mundane example, can communicate via video conference with people all over the globe on a daily basis, something as commonplace as childbirth is still one of the riskiest moments in a woman’s life, especially for women in low- and middle-income countries.
According to the WHO, “a woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death — the probability that a 15-year-old woman will eventually die from a maternal cause — is 1 in 4,900 in developed countries, versus 1 in 180 in developing countries. In countries designated as fragile states, the risk is 1 in 54; showing the consequences from breakdowns in health systems.” One of major causes of these deaths is postpartum hemorrhage — excessive bleeding after childbirth.