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A matter of life and death

A mother’s education is crucial for her own health. Every day, almost 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, including pre-eclampsia, bleeding, infections and unsafe abortion. Educated women are more likely to avoid these dangers, by adopting simple and low cost practices to maintain hygiene, by reacting to symptoms, and by making sure a skilled attendant is present at birth.

Education reforms increased education attainment among young women by 1.8 years in Kenya, accounting for a 34% decline in the maternal mortality ratio.

In Nepal, 49% of literate mothers have a skilled attendant at birth, compared with 18% of mothers who are not literate.

The benefits of being literate when it comes to having a skilled attendant at birth can be far greater for mothers from poor households. In Cameroon, 54% of literate mothers from poor households have the benefit of a skilled attendant, compared with 19% of mothers who are not literate.

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Note: Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant, or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, though not from accidental or incidental causes.

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Next: Educating girls can save millions of lives

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Coming soon: Come back to this site on 19 September 2013 for more infographics, from the people at Information Is Beautiful...