Peru’s Maternal Mortality Rate Down 50% in Last 10 Years

The maternal mortality rate in Peru has declined by 50% over the past 10 years, according to government figures reported by LaMula.

The Health Ministry said that the rate of women who die during childbirth has declined to 93 per 100,000 live births, compared to a rate of 185 a decade ago.

The ministry’s national coordinator for sexual and reproductive health strategy, Lucy del Carpio, said that Peru aims to lower the rate to 66 per 100,000 live births as part of the Millennium Development Goals.

Dr. del Carpio said that lowering the rate even further requires input from different sectors, such as education, transport and communication, among others.

“When a woman gives birth at home she can lose a lot of blood and even die within two hours because she lives in remote area and can’t reach a health center in time,” Del Carpio was reported saying.

The main cause for maternal deaths in Peru is post-partum hemorrhage, frequently related to preeclampsia, according to reports from hospitals throughout the country. According to Del Carpio, maternal deaths are related to inequity and lack of empowerment —poor access to information  and to prenatal diagnosis. Although health services have increased substantially in recent years,  there is still a need to improve the quality and the capacity for quick response.

The decline in Peru’s maternal mortality rate is part of a broader improvement in several of Peru’s economic and social statistics over the past decade, chief among them a sharp decline in poverty.

The improvements have come as Peru’s economy has posted robust growth, creating a larger middle class and a state that has more resources to invest in infrastructure.

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