Childbirth is the biggest killer of young women in developing countries, with around 63,000 women in India alone dying in childbirth every year. The vast majority of these deaths could be prevented with better access to medical care. To highlight this global issue, Southampton researchers have helped to build an interactive map of maternal health throughout the world.
They have created an online interactive world map that gives stark facts and figures about the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and following the birth of their child. Bringing together the latest evidence from the United Nations and World Health Organization they have also put together policy recommendations in easy-to-read formats and a raft of materials for advocates to present to decision makers at events ranging from protest marches to world summits.
Social scientists Professor Zoë Matthews and Dr Sarah Neale worked on the joint project, called the Atlas of Birth, in partnership with the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and the University of Aberdeen.
“The interactive map will enable advocates across the world to quickly and effectively lobby governments, influence policymakers and inform the media, as public pressure grows to end the tragic and almost always preventable deaths of girls and women in childbirth,” comments Zoë, Professor of Global Health and Social Statistics and the University’s Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty and Policy.
The University of Southampton is home to one of the leading quantitative social science research groups in the UK. “Our multidisciplinary approach is crucial,” says Zoë. “We have experts across a wide range of disciplines working together to tackle this global issue.”