A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2021, the United States had one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in its history. According to the survey, maternal deaths among black women are more than twice as common as those among white women.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 1,205 women in the United States passed away during pregnancy or soon after giving birth in 2021, up from 861 in 2020 and 754 in 2019. The US has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries, and 2021 saw the largest number of deaths since the middle of the 1960s.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said (as reported by the White House)
“The most powerful country in the world should not be accepting this as a reality. This is a crisis.”
According to the NCHS, there were 32.9 deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2021, up from 23.8 and 20.1, respectively, in 2020 and 2019.
Black women had a maternal mortality rate of 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021, which was 2.6 times higher than the rate for white women, 26.6 deaths per 100,000. Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said (as reported by The local report)-
“The Covid-19 pandemic had a dramatic and tragic effect on maternal death rates, but we cannot let that fact obscure that there was and still is a maternal mortality crisis.”
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According to Hoskins, eradicating “racial health inequalities” must be a primary goal for public health. Hoskins said in a statement (as reported by MedPage today)-
“Pregnant and postpartum Black people continue to make up a disproportionate number of maternal deaths at growing and alarming rates. This trend must be stopped.”
Maternal death is defined by the World Health Organization (as reported by WHO)-
“the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.”
According to a recent United Nations report, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth every two minutes, despite maternal death rates dropping by a third in 20 years.
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