Maternal deaths are an outrage

Thu 21st May 2009 by Ben Palmer.

"In the 21st century, no woman should have to give her life to give life."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (Reuters 19 May)

"We must find a way to get maternal mortality recognized as a key indicator of a functioning health system. Let us work together to make sure maternal mortality is a problem of the past and not our children's future."
Sarah Brown (Reuters 19 May)

The justifiable outrage that pregnancy and childbirth continue to kill 529,000 women and leave 1 million children motherless worldwide every year is, naturally, focussed on developing countries where childbirth is far more dangerous than we can imagine.

However, the words of our own Prime Minister's wife and the Secretary-General of the United Nations words at this week's World Health Organisation's annual congress in Geneva are just as applicable to us. Why are our mother's vulnerable to an archiac disease such as childbed fever, which is still one of the most common causes of maternal death?

I feel sure that Jasmine Pickett's and Amy Kimmance's families, amongst others, would join me in asking this. I hope that the Coroner in their Inquests, currently being heard in Winchester, may be able to shed some light on the answer.


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What is childbed fever?

Childbed fever is an infection of the womb in new mothers which can lead to septicaemia. If left untreated infection will cause organ failure and death - even in young, fit mothers.
What are the symptoms? »
Childbed fever: the facts »

What's the aim?

We would like every parent and every midwife and doctor to know that childbed fever is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
more »
Can I help? »

Who is Jessica?

Jessica Palmer was a Mum. She died in June 2004, at 34 years old, of childbed fever caused by Group A streptococcus.
more »

This website contains general information about childbed fever. The information is not complete or comprehensive. You should not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider; and if you think you may be suffering from childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should seek immediately medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.