The Five W’s of Maternal Mortality

A woman dies of pregnancy related causes every two minutes.

What? Globally, maternal mortality rates are atrociously high. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2020, a maternal death occurred every 2 minutes, despite a 34% reduction in the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR – or the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births).  In the time it takes you to read this blog, at least one woman will die during childbirth.

Where? Where do these deaths occur? Around 95% occur in low and lower-middle income countries. In developed countries like the United States, women of color are disproportionately dying during childbirth.

Who? Who is impacted by these deaths? The children born to mothers who die during childbirth and their families suffer the tragic consequences of increased mortality, decreased nutrition and less schooling.

Why? Why do these maternal deaths occur? Lack of access to healthcare in underdeveloped regions and the subsequent lack of care before, during and after childbirth contributes to these preventable deaths.

When? When should we act? The time is now. A single donation or an ongoing Corporate partnership could help contribute to ending the tragedy of maternal mortality in childbirth. Consider partnering with Clinics IV Life to help support our Shared Practice (SP) model of building self-sustaining clinics in areas of special need around the world. We currently have an ongoing project to build a pilot clinic in Ligao City, Albay Province, Philippines, with an estimated completion date of April 2024. In the Philippines, 1 in 10 women do not give birth in health facilities or have any assistance during childbirth. Our next project will be in India, where more than 130 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births occur.

A United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) study conducted with Burnet Institute showed that globally, every dollar invested on family planning services gains $8. Why not make a change today? Big or small, your charitable and tax-deductible donations to Clinics IV Life can change the course of not only one mother and one child, but of humanity. Visit for more information on how you can make a difference.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Meet the Author

Dr. Viveca Livezey is a Board-Certified Neurologist with over 20 years of experience serving indigent populations in non-profit settings. She was a Senior Medical Officer at the United States Food & Drug Administration for over 6 years and has over a decade of experience in clinical trials and clinical research to improve access to drugs and devices for patients suffering from neurological diseases.

Dr. Livezey currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand, and is involved in several charitable organizations that support women and children that are victims of trafficking, violence, poverty, and unequal access to care. She also runs her own consulting business to support companies striving to improves lives of patients and currently serves on the Clinics IV Life Advisory Board.

You can follow her on LinkedIn

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This article has been checked for medical accuracy by appropriately qualified doctors on our advisory board and the contents deemed correct. If you think you may require medical assistance, always refer immediately to your doctor.

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