Givology Staff's Blog

Education and Maternal and Infant Health

By Julia Tofan
Maternal health consists of healthcare "during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period" according to the World Health Organization ([url=http://www.who.int/topics/maternal_health/en/Due]WHO[/url]). For many women in the developing world, maternal healthcare and education is inaccessible and mothers and newborns die preventable deaths. The solution? Access to resources like doctors and hospitals is an important start, but education has a powerful effect on maternal and newborn health as well.
1. In 2013, [url=http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/maternal_health/maternal_health_facts/en/]289,000[/url] women died due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. That's 800 women a day.
2. [url=http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/]99%[/url] of maternal deaths occur in the developing world.
3. If all women completed primary education, there would be a [url=http://internationalliteracyday.org/]66%[/url] reduction in maternal deaths.
4. [url=http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/gender/publication/voice-and-agency-empowering-women-and-girls-for-shared-prosperity]One in five[/url] girls in the developing world become pregnant by age 18.
5. [url=http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/gender/publication/voice-and-agency-empowering-women-and-girls-for-shared-prosperity]70,000[/url] girls in the developing world between the age of 15 and 19 die every year due to poor maternal health.
6. A [url=http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/gender/publication/voice-and-agency-empowering-women-and-girls-for-shared-prosperity]survey[/url] conducted in the developing world found that "more than 41 percent of women...could not ask their partner to use a condom."
7. According to UNESCO, "If all women completed primary education, the under-5 mortality rate would fall by [url=http://unesco.nl/sites/default/files/dossier/gmr_2013-4.pdf?download=1]15%[/url] in low and lower middle income countries, saving almost a million children's lives every year." "If all women completed secondary education, under-5 mortality rate would fall by [url=http://unesco.nl/sites/default/files/dossier/gmr_2013-4.pdf?download=1]49%[/url]."
8. One additional year of maternal education is associated with a [url=http://unesco.nl/sites/default/files/dossier/gmr_2013-4.pdf?download=1]14% decline[/url] in child deaths from pneumonia because mothers are less likely to burn materials that make toxic fumes, more likely to vaccinate children, and more likely to be able to feed their children.
9. Mothers who have a primary education are [url=http://unesco.nl/sites/default/files/dossier/gmr_2013-4.pdf?download=1]10%[/url] more likely to vaccinate their children against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. Mothers with a secondary education are [url=http://unesco.nl/sites/default/files/dossier/gmr_2013-4.pdf?download=1]43%[/url] more likely to do so.
10. Between 1990 and 2013, maternal mortality worldwide dropped by almost [url=http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/]50%[/url].
Improving education can increase survival rates for mothers and newborns alike in the developing world. Our partner, Apne Aap, supports children of prostituted women in India's red light areas. Apne Aap breaks the cycle of prostitution and early pregnancy by helping children get an education. [url=https://www.givology.org/~tlgirl/]Click here[/url] to help fund the program, called "The Last Girl," and show your support for girls' rights and education.

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