by Keith Martin
Every minute of every day, a woman dies giving birth. The toll is staggering: 530,000 pregnant women a year perish, 95% of them in developing countries. Remarkably, 80% of these maternal deaths are from five entirely preventable or treatable causes: sepsis, hemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labour, or as a consequence of a septic abortion.
For every death, dozens of women sustain life-altering and irreversible injuries. Many develop obstetric fistulae that leave them incontinent of urine and feces, and pariahs within their own developing-world communities.