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US maternal mortality soars amid widening racial disparities

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) maternal mortality rate – already the worst in the industrialised world – rose in 2020 to its highest level in half a century, with Black women three times more likely to die than white women, data showed yesterday.

A National Center for Health Statistics report showed the rate was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, far higher than comparable countries, such as Canada where it was 7.5 per 100,000, according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) statistics for the same year.

Overall, 861 women were identified as having died of maternal causes, which the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as a death while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management.

More details on Thursday’s Borneo Bulletin