The maternal mortality rate (MMR) remains high as a result of poor health care and harmful social practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation, a UNICEF official in Yemen has said. Eight women or girls die from pregnancy or childbirth complications every day in Yemen; globally the figure is 1,500. According to UNICEF, the lifetime risk of maternal death in Yemen is 1:39, making it the highest in the Middle East. At the same time Yemen has the lowest percentage of births in the Middle East at which a skilled attendant is present: Delivery care coverage is 36 percent, and 24 percent of births take place in hospitals. (IRIN)

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