United News International (UNI)- The World Health Organization recently made a huge breakthrough by finding a heat-stable drug to treat postpartum hemorrhaging.

Postpartum hemorrhaging is currently the number one cause of death during maternity, affecting over 14 million women annually.

The approved drug used to stop excessive bleeding after childbirth is oxytocin but the drug must be stored at temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.

This is difficult to do in many middle- and low-income countries, resulting in the deaths of about 70,000 women due to excessive bleeding.

According to the WHO’s new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the heat-stable drug carbetocin is just as effective and safe as oxytocin.

The next step is regulatory review and approval by countries in the hopes of decreasing the number of childbirth-related deaths.

WHO experts hope to have the drug available in some countries by early next year.