Commenting in The Lancet in 2016, Helena Nordenstedt and Hans Rosling criticized a UN report for stating that 60% of all maternal deaths take place in humanitarian settings. They found that this percentage was calculated based on the total population in the 50 most fragile states in the world. Indeed, not all people in fragile states live in humanitarian settings. In 2016, less than 25% of the population in all conflict-affected countries in the world lived less than 50 km away from where the actual fighting took place. Moreover, access to maternal health services varies strongly within countries. In order to explore the relationship between armed conflict and maternal health, we need detailed geographical data on how these factors are distributed within countries. This policy brief summarizes the first systematic attempt to study how local exposure to organized violence affects the access to maternal healthcare services.
Østby, Gudrun; Henrik Urdal; Andreas Forø Tollefsen; Andreas Kotsadam; Ragnhild Belbo & Christin Marsh Ormhaug (2018) How Does Organized Violence Affect the Chances of Giving Birth at a Health Facility?, Conflict Trends, 8. Oslo: PRIO.