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Womens eNews Examines Water’s Role In Reducing Maternal Mortality

Womens eNews examines the relationship between access to clean water and maternal mortality. The news service writes that contaminated water is “commonplace in developing countries,” adding that the WHO and UNICEF “issued a report in 2004 that found the definition of ‘safe water’ varied from region to region. WHO has issued guidelines for maintaining water quality around the world since 1982, but leaves it up to each country to implement their own standards.”

According to Global Water Executive Director Ted Kuepper, “Not having the proper amount of water on a daily basis puts stress on the body, which affects a woman’s life span.” However, Tim Thomas, senior advisor of the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth, pointed out that there are a “panoply of factors that contribute to maternal mortality – everything from (the drug) misoprostol not being available to treat postpartum hemorrhage to the insufficient distribution of magnesium sulfate for preeclampsia in rural clinics.”

The article notes that construction of latrines and hand-washing stations are one way to “improve maternal health” and discusses other organization’s efforts to improve access to clean water in developing countries (Davis, 11/5).