Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Birth and Death

In the 35 countries covered by the report of the World Bank , mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, the estimated 210 million women who become pregnant every year worldwide, more than 500,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth. One in five women resorts to abortion because of poor access to contraception . 68,000 women die each year as a result of unsafe abortion, while 5.3 million suffer temporary or permanent disability, and many end up being ostracised within their own communities.

"Poor women endure a dis-proportionate burden of poor sexual and reproductive health because they run into financial or social barriers getting access to these basic but vital programs," said Mrs. Joy Phumaphi, the World Bank's Vice President for Human Development, a former WHO Assistant Director General, and a former Health Minister in Botswana, 1999-2003. "The low status of women often poses a barrier because in many societies, women lack the power to make their own decisions about using contraceptives or using other reproductive health-care," said Phumaphi.

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