The Ministry of Health claimed that the third main cause of maternal deaths for 2014 was abortion, accounting for 14 of the 112 maternal deaths.

While the first and second main causes were respectively, respiratory disease and heart disease, two suicides (where the pregnancy status was implicated in the suicides) were also recorded during the said year, the Maternal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance Unit of the Family Health Bureau confirmed.

National Programme Manager – Maternal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance, Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said preventing preventable maternal deaths (70 maternal deaths out of 112 – 62%) was the challenge.

There were many unwanted pregnancies with 35 of the aforementioned 112 pregnancies being such, he added, noting also that four out of the 112 had been advised not to get pregnant due to underlying medical reasons such as illnesses.

Due to the 112 maternal deaths, 188 children had lost their mothers and 101 husbands had lost their wives, the national maternal mortality review for 2014 outlined.

District-wise, there were 11 maternal deaths in Kurunegala, 10 each in Ratnapura and Colombo, nine in Gampaha, eight each in Puttalam, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy, six in Moneragala, five each in Anuradhapura and Ampara/Kalmunai, four each in Matara, Galle and Badulla, three each in Mullaitivu, Kegalle and Kalutara, two each in Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna, Hambantota and one each in Vavuniya, Matale and Batticaloa.