According to Peruvian government figures, 185 women die for every 100,000 live births in Peru. The United Nations puts the number at 240.
27 per cent of deaths of women from pregnancy-related causes occurred during pregnancy; 26 per cent occurred during the birth itself; and 46 per cent during the first six weeks after giving birth (Ministry of Health, Department of Epidemiology, 2007).
In 2007, only 36.1 per cent of the women in the poorest sectors of society who gave birth between 2002 and 2007 stated that the last time they had given birth was in a health facility. The comparable figure for women in the richest sectors of society was 98.4 per cent (National Institute of Statistics and Information. 59.1 per cent of the communities covered by the 2007 national census of Indigenous Peoples did not have a health facility.
The Peruvian government announced that improving maternal and infant health was one of its five strategic goals for social policy and that it hoped to reduce maternal mortality to 120 in every 100,000 births by 2015.
A very typical horror story: A woman went into labour, but the midwife at the San Juan de Ccarhuacc health post [several cuts below a real hospital] was on leave, so her husband and other relatives delivered the baby themselves. However, after the baby was born, the placenta did not come out and they did not know what to do. Two hours later the mother died.