Africa experiences the highest rates of maternal deaths of any continent worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, maternal mortality is higher in developing countries, and women living in rural areas or in poorer communities are especially vulnerable.

The majority of maternal deaths can be prevented with adequate access to health care and nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy. However the rate of this tragedy in Africa is mostly linked to poverty-related factors.

These factors not only negatively affect the expectant mother, but also their child.

  • Access to maternal health care According to The Conversation, more than two-thirds of the world’s maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The leading cause of this is inadequate access to quality health care during pregnancy, delivery, or after birth.
  • Early childbearing Africa has the highest rates of premature and adolescent childbearing in the world, according to UNICEF — with the rates being particularly high in the Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Angola, and Mali.
  • Malnutrition Food security is a persistent problem across the continent, and is mostly linked to poverty, but can also be attributed to environmental and socio-political factors, such as climate change and conflict.

Read the full article about issues facing pregnant mothers in Africa by Khanyi Mlaba at Global Citizen.