AUSTIN, Texas -- Maternal mortality rates are far too high here at home.

“It is a persistent problem in Texas and across the United States,” says Parth Gupta, a University of Texas at Austin junior.

  • Texas has high rate of maternal mortality
  • UT students looking for solution 
  • Will share data with institutions 

The Lonestar State saw over 34 deaths per 100,000 live births last year, one of the highest rates in the country. Armed with that knowledge, four UT students are traveling across the globe to try and help find a solution.

“We are taking something that is really big and we are trying, like Parth said, to do a little bit of good,” adds Lyndsey Wang.

The quartet is heading to the country of Georgia this summer, courtesy of the President’s Award for Global Learning.

“You don’t get learning experiences with this much impact in traditional college classes,” student Michael Sanchez says.

They are hoping to glean an understanding of how the country cut their maternal mortality rate in half in just two years.

“With a state like Texas and a country like Georgia, they may seem pretty dissimilar, but a lot of determinants of health— distance to care, nutrition, demographics— these are pretty similar, surprisingly similar,” Gupta says.

They’ll spend 10 weeks interviewing government officials, health care professionals and mothers about their experiences.

“It is really important to try and visualize myself in someone’s shoes or try and find that personal connection because it makes it very real to me,” Anastasiya Byelousova says.

Upon returning they’ll share their data with different institutions in the effort to hopefully begin to lower rates in Texas.

“If we can look at Texas with all of its unique, different problems, and try and push against the boundaries of that statistic, we can really make an impact in our lifetime,” Wang says.