The problems that occur during pregnancy and

The World Health Organization (WHO)
defines maternal death as the death of a woman who is pregnant, or after 42
days of a termination of her pregnancy, regardless of the duration and location
of the pregnancy. Death has happened due to, or made worse by, the pregnancy or
its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Defining maternal health has typically been measured against the level
of maternal mortality. Countries use maternal mortality rates (MMR) as an
analytic of improvement and progression in maternal health. However even with
this as a measure, the problem of maternal mortality is only a small portion of
the burden of maternal morbidity. For every woman who dies of pregnancy related
issues, 20 – 30 more experience acute or chronic illness, often with permeant decline
in physical, mental or sexual health and their social and economic status. Both
maternal morbidity and mortality are estimated to be highest in low-
and middle-income countries, especially among the poorest women.4

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The primary cause of death and
disability amid women of reproductive age in developing countries is from the
problems that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. WHO estimate that almost
830 women needlessly die, every day, from pregnancy and childbirth.  Of which only 1% occur in developed
countries.  And the overwhelming 99% that
occur in the developing world is most prevalent in young adolescents living in
rural areas.

Developed and developing
countries had similar rates of maternal mortality in the early 1900s.22 However, as most maternal deaths
and injuries are avoidable,7 they have been largely eliminated
in the developed world.

These statistics validate that developed
countries and areas with higher income have more robust healthcare structure,
the required medical and health care staffing, have more advanced medical technology
and less barriers to overcome when trying to access medical care in comparison to
the developed world. The most common causation of maternal death in the third
world is obstetrical haemorrhage in comparison to thromboembolism in the
developed world.