Infographic: The avoidable crisis of maternal death

This MSF infographic explores maternal death, an urgent—and avoidable—crisis.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) makes it a priority to provide lifesaving, emergency obstetric care in both acute and chronic humanitarian crises. MSF teams strive to address the five main causes of maternal death: hemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders, and obstructed labour.

In a conflict or crisis, pregnant women are even more vulnerable because health services have collapsed, are inadequate, or are totally non-existent. But these women need access to quality emergency obstetric care whether they live in a conflict zone, in a refugee camp, or under plastic sheeting after a devastating earthquake.

In fact, they need the same help that all pregnant women facing a complication need: access to appropriate medical assistance—skilled medical staff, drugs, and equipment—to save their life and the life of their baby.

Conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, or the complete breakdown of a country’s health system are crises faced by MSF’s millions of patients around the world every day. But a maternal death: that’s the avoidable crisis.

Infographic by Will Owen