UNFPA says South Sudan's maternal death rate highest in the world

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-12 22:04:49|Editor: xuxin
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JUBA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Friday that South Sudan has the highest maternal death rate in the world estimated at 789 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Mary Otieno, UNFPA Country Representative, said the international community is committed to advance the reproductive health and rights of every woman and girl in the world's youngest republic.

"Mothers are still dying from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications: one of the highest maternal death rates in the world at 789 deaths per 100,000 live births," Otieno said in a statement issued in Juba.

She said UNFPA will continue to engage South Sudan's ministry of health and partners to improve the situation through a comprehensive reproductive health program.

"Since 2012, the midwifery project has helped increase the number of qualified midwives to close to 900 today, from less than 10 before the project started," said Otieno.

She said the organization supports programs that aim to eliminate gender-based violence, including harmful practices such as child marriage, adding that 4 out of 10 girls are married by the age of 18.

According to UNFPA, more than 200 million women and girls globally want to delay or prevent pregnancy, but lack the means due to lack of access to family planning services.