THE day I gave birth to my eighth child, I came the closest I have to death.
I had a post-partum haemorrhage. This is a common complication among women who have had multiple births, but fortunately I was a patient in an Australian hospital so I was treated immediately.
A delivery such as that kills one woman almost every minute of the day in the developing world. Most maternal deaths are directly attributable to four causes: haemorrhage, which is the biggest danger (25 per cent of deaths), infection (15 per cent), hypertension (12 per cent) and obstructed labour (8 per cent). Where women work hard through their pregnancies on poor nutrition, as in Africa, they have the highest rate of miscarriage in the world. In such a climate, abortion is a desperate last resort. It is surprising that the rate of death from septic abortion is not higher than 13per cent of deaths.
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