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In giving life, women face deadly risks

A mother with her newborn twins at the maternity-labor ward in the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, Nigeria

From CNN: “In Niger, a woman gives birth to an average of nearly eight children. Countries like Uganda, Mali and Somalia are close behind, with an average of six to seven children per woman. With every pregnancy and birth, a woman’s risk of dying increases.

“There’s a clear connection between countries that have a high fertility rate, where women are having six to seven children, and the maternal mortality rates,” said Dr. Dorothy Shaw, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Pregnancy and childbirth complications are among the leading causes of death among women living in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. Each pregnancy magnifies the mother’s health risks, especially when she doesn’t have access to health care.

“We hear pregnancy is considered so natural and childbirth is considered a part of life, but there is a real sense of a complication and death,” said Mary Beth Powers, Save the Children’s chief of the Child Survival Campaign. “One out of seven women will face complication. That’s a global figure…”

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