ASTANA – Central Asia’s maternal mortality rate declined by 67.5 percent in the last 20 years, according to a study on the trends in maternal mortality prepared by the United Nations Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group and released on Feb. 23.
According to the UN report, the region of Central and Southern Asia saw the most significant overall percentage drop in maternal mortality rate, from 397 to 129 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births between 2000 and 2020.
Central and Southern Asia also championed the greatest reduction in lifetime risk of maternal death, with a reduction from 1 in 68 in 2000 to 1 in 339 in 2020.
Kazakhstan entered the top ten countries with the highest percentage of reduction in maternal mortality rates between 2000 and 2020. The list, in order of greatest to least reduction, includes Belarus, Seychelles, Turkmenistan, Romania, Bhutan, Egypt, Estonia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Kazakhstan, and Mozambique.
In Europe, the maternal mortality rate increased by 17 percent from 2016 to 2020, the report noted.
The report states women die nearly every two minutes during pregnancy or childbirth worldwide, especially in the poorest parts of the planet and countries affected by conflict. In 2020, around 70 percent of all maternal deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Reducing maternal mortality remains one of the most pressing global health challenges,” said John Wilmoth, director of the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.