What is killing pregnant women in Malawi?

Sad News! For every 100,000 women who are pregnant, 349 end up dying due to pregnancy-related causes. Some die due to infections, and others due to bleeding when giving birth or soon after giving birth. Some die due to obstructed labour, yet others pass away as they attempt to terminate their unintended pregnancies.

The talk around maternal mortality or maternal deaths is about women and girls who die due to pregnancy-related causes. In Malawi, for every 100,000 live births, the country registers 349 deaths of women. Malawi registers over 800,000 pregnancies every year, and this means 7 or 8 women die every day because of pregnancy-related causes.
How can deaths from unsafe abortions be reduced?


  • Enactment of Termination of Pregnancy Bill drafted by Law Commission so that women and girls should access safe abortion services in health facilities.
  • Provision of family planning services (contraceptives).

Big Question
With draconian abortion law and low contraceptive uptake contributing significantly to deaths caused by unsafe abortions, what interventions should be implemented to reduce maternal mortality?

CAUSE: Haemorrage

  • Deliveries at health facilities
  • Ban of traditional both attendants

CAUSE: Infections

  • Provision of medications that enable women deliver without problems including ARVS that enable HIV + women deliver HIV-free babies

CAUSE: Eclampsia & Obstructed Labour

  • Policy implementation that all women should deliver in health facilities
  • Laws enactment that stipulate that only those aged over 18 and above should get married

CAUSE: Unsafe abortions

  • Enactment of new abortion law
  • Provision of family planning (contraceptives)


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