A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Thursday, 20 October 2011

MDG 5 - Improve maternal health - CIDA

  • Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
  • Achieve universal access to reproductive health

MDGs 4 and 5― A Leading Role in Reducing Child Mortality and Improving Maternal Health
(PDF 147 KB, 3 pages) - Improve Maternal Health & Child Mortality


Pregnant Woman © United Nations
MDG 5, to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015, has experienced the least progress. While a number of middle-income countries have made rapid progress in reducing maternal deaths, maternal mortality and morbidity still remains unacceptably high in the developing world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.

Every year, more than 500,000 women die because of complications during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the six weeks after delivery. Most of these deaths (99 percent) occur in developing countries and most often could have been prevented.

Disparity and inequity in access to health services underlies this global trend. Half of all maternal deaths (265,000) occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and another third (187,000), in Southern Asia. Together, these two regions account for 85 percent of all maternal deaths. Large disparities also exist between women living in rural and urban areas, although the gap did narrow between 1990 and 2008.

The leading causes of maternal mortality in developing regions are haemorrhage and hypertension, which together account for half of all deaths in expectant or new mothers. The proportion of women in developing countries who received skilled assistance during delivery rose from 53 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2008. Progress was made in all regions but was especially dramatic in Northern Africa and South-Eastern Asia, with increases of 74 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

MDG 5 - Improve maternal health - CIDA

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