And… after the pandemic and its socioeconomic crisis, there has been an increase in maternal mortality in Latin America and the Caribbean. We already know that the ones who suffer the most and first the consequences of any type of crisis are women. That this pandemic crisis is not being different, too. And it is that this recurring reality, as predictable as it is unfair, does not end. In 2022, in this area, Covid-19 caused a 20-year setback in maternal health indicators. So that we can have the true dimension of this alarm, it can be said that in the region due to complications in pregnancy, childbirth or the puerperium, every hour, a woman loses her life.
This dramatic reversal means the increase of 15% between 2016 and 2020. The profiles of the 8,400 women who died during pregnancy and childbirth are mostly indigenous, Afro-descendant, migrant, with low income and less schooling.
And the most common causes of mortality, the vast majority of which are preventable, are hypertension in pregnancy, hemorrhage, and complications from unsafe abortion. If we wanted to with quality care, access to contraceptive methods and the voluntary termination of pregnancy and reducing inequalities in access to health care, nine out of 10 of these deaths would be prevented. That is, tackling socioeconomic, gender, ethnic and educational inequities; as well as restrictive laws with sexual and reproductive rights. With these lines I want to join in giving visibility to the Zero Maternal Deaths campaign. Avoiding the Avoidable, from the Working Group for the Reduction of Maternal Mortality, in which PAHO participates.