The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday said, one in four maternal deaths were caused by pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, Head, Media and External Relations.

According to the statement, pregnancy had been known to aggravate such health impacts, which was proportionate to deaths from severe bleeding.

It said although the UN agencies observed a steady progress in saving mothers’ lives, there was a need for efforts to be geared towards investing in proven solutions, such as quality care for all women during pregnancy and childbirth.

It also underscores the need for particular care for pregnant women with existing medical conditions.

The statement quoted the recently published Lancet Global Health Series by WHO, which gave a systematic report on why women die and stressed the need to invest in accurate data.

“In many low-income countries, maternal deaths go uncounted and frequently the cause of death is unknown or not recorded correctly, particularly when women die at home.

“This is consistent with general global trends: only one-third of all deaths worldwide are recorded and fewer than 100 countries record the cause of death using WHO’s International Classification of Disease.

“As a result, it is often hard for national health programmes to allocate resources where they are needed most.

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