Condoms 'helping to reduce maternal deaths'

Condoms are playing an important role in helping to keep maternal death numbers low, new research has suggested.

Published by The Lancet, the study revealed contraception prevents around 272,000 passings through childbirth each year.

Investigators from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discovered maternal deaths might also be driven down by 30 per cent if the global need for contraception was met.

Saifuddin Ahmed, associate professor at the Bloomberg School's departments of population, family, reproductive health and biostatistics, noted the use of methods such as this represents an effective primary prevention strategy for brining maternal mortality numbers down.

Mr Ahmed stated: "Our findings reinforce the need to accelerate access to contraception in countries with a low prevalence of contraceptive use where gains in maternal mortality prevention could be greatest."

It was noted that effective contraception prevents around 230 million unintended births each year, while three million babies and 358,000 women die because of pregnancy and delivery every 12 months.