Philippines sees nearly 2,500 maternal deaths in 2021: UN agency

File photo: VCG

MANILA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- At least 2,478 women died due to childbirth in the Philippines in 2021, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines said Sunday, expressing concern about the rising number of maternal deaths in the Southeast Asian country.

"In the Philippines, we noticed an increase of maternal deaths during the past years: in 2019, 1,458 women died of maternal causes; this number increased to 2,478 in 2021," UNFPA Philippines country representative Leila Saiji Joudane said in a statement.

"That is around six to seven Filipino women dying daily due to childbirth," she said, adding that when access to maternal health services is disrupted during emergencies, more women die during pregnancy and childbirth.

In the Philippines, 14 percent of pregnant women do not get regular check-ups and other necessary medical care; one in 10 women do not give birth in health facilities or receive assistance from skilled healthcare personnel during childbirth, the agency added.

"Women die because sexual and reproductive health services are unavailable, inaccessible, unaffordable, or of poor quality," Joudane said, adding that the top causes of maternal deaths included complications in pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium, eclampsia, pre-eclampsia, and hemorrhage.