Namibia recorded 150 maternal deaths in 2020 due to the limitation of safe abortions and access to proper reproductive health services.

This is contained in the Global Report on Maternal Mortality by the United Nations Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group.

The global trend of maternal mortalities reveals an alarming setback for women's health in recent years. 

Maternal deaths either increased or stagnated in nearly all regions.

The country's lifetime risk of maternal deaths stands at one in a hundred and 30, while indirect maternal deaths related to HIV, accounting for eight percent.

These maternal deaths can be prevented if access to voluntary family planning can be improved, through investing in health workers with midwifery skills, and through ensuring access to emergency obstetric care when complications arise, says the report.

Severe bleeding, high blood pressure, pregnancy-related infections and complications from unsafe abortion are some of the leading causes of maternal deaths.

The report by UN agencies exposes major setbacks for maternal health in many parts of the world, highlighting stark disparities in healthcare access.

Roughly a third of women are said to miss more than four of the recommended eight antenatal checks and fail to receive essential postnatal care, while 270 million women lack access to modern family planning methods.

The report further shows that, from 2000 to 2020, about 287 000 maternal deaths were recorded worldwide, marking only a slight decrease from over 300 000 in 2016, when the Sustainable Development Goals came into effect.

In 2020, about 70 percent of all maternal deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa with nine countries facing severe humanitarian crises. 

Maternal mortality rates were more than double the world average.

The report highlighted a significant acceleration of progress to meet global targets and reduce maternal deaths, or else risk the lives of over one million more women by 2030.




Celma Ndhikwa