Global disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality.
The disparity in maternal mortality for African American women remains one of the greatest public health inequities in the United States (US). To better understand approaches toward amelioration of these differences, we examine settings with similar disparities in maternal mortality and "near misses" based on race/ethnicity. This global analysis of disparities in maternal mortality/morbidity will focus on middle- and high-income countries (based on World Bank definitions) with multiethnic populations. Many countries with similar histories of slavery and forced migration demonstrate disparities in health outcomes based on social determinants such as race/ethnicity. We highlight comparisons in the Americas between the US and Brazil-two countries with the largest populations of African descent brought to the Americas primarily through the transatlantic slave trade. We also address the need to capture race/ethnicity/country of origin in a meaningful way in order to facilitate transnational comparisons and potential translatable solutions. Race, class, and gender-based inequities are pervasive, global themes. This approach is human rights-based and consistent with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and post 2015-sustainable development goals' aim to place women's health the context of health equity/women's rights. Solutions to these issues of inequity in maternal mortality are nation-specific and global.
Small, MJ; Allen, TK; Brown, HL
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