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Catholic World News

Maternal mortality soars in South Sudan; basic medical needs lacking

July 20, 2012

The newly independent nation of South Sudan has the world’s highest rate of maternal mortality, with roughly 1 woman dying for every 50 children born.

Infections, uncontrolled bleeding, poor nutrition, and inadequate nursing care are the leading causes of maternal death. The country faces a severe shortage of hospital beds, and existing institutions lack basic supplies such as bandages, gauze, and sterile instruments. Medical personnel in South Sudan report that at least 90% of the deaths could be prevented with proper supplies and care.

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