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Maternal death declining in N. Korea: U.N. report

North Korea 11:21 October 04, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- The number of North Korean women dying in pregnancy and childbirth dropped steadily between 2000 and 2017 but is still eight times higher than that of the South, according to a recent U.N. report.

North Korea's maternal mortality fell to 89 per 100,000 births in 2017 from 91 in 2015, according to the report jointly issued by the United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank in September.

Maternal mortality refers to the number of deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

While the rate in North Korea is significantly lower than the global average of 211 deaths per 100,000, it is still eight times higher than that of South Korea's 11 deaths per 100,000.

A 2017 UNICEF report attributed maternal death in North Korea to its lack of medicine and poor medical services, noting that child deliveries that took place at home have added to the health risks.

By continent, sub-Saharan African countries had the highest maternal mortality rate of 533 per 100,000, followed by South Asia's 163.


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