As the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) draws near, advocates are intensifying efforts to improve maternal and newborn survival. At a meeting of the United Nations Secretary-General's Millennium Development Goal Advocates, in
If followed, the steps in the Roadmap could help save the lives of an additional 140,000 women and 250,000 newborns by the end of next year.
There are only about 540 days left to achieve the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.
Getting on track
The world is reducing pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths of women faster than at any other time in history, largely thanks to better training for health workers and midwives, integrated health interventions, greater funding, and increased political commitment.
Globally, maternal deaths have fallen by almost half since 1990 - from an estimated 523,000 maternal deaths a year to 289,000 in 2013, according to estimates by the
Yet many countries are not on track to meet MDG 5 - which calls for reducing maternal deaths by two thirds and providing universal access to reproductive health care. In addition to protecting the health and human rights of women, achieving this goal will improve child survival, as mothers' well-being is known to improve children's health.
"A coalition of
Dr. Osotimehin chairs the UN agencies' coalition on health, called the H4+. It includes UNFPA, WHO,
Gearing up to save lives
The Roadmap calls for the provision of effective, life-saving interventions during and immediately after birth. It also calls for enhancing antenatal health services, increasing access to modern contraceptives, and prioritizing countries and regions where maternal and newborn deaths are the highest, such as areas in the grip of humanitarian crises.
Spearheaded by a private-public partnership, this Roadmap comes on the heels of the launch of the Achievement Roadmap for MDG 4, on reducing child death, at the
"With only 20 months left to achieve the MDGs, we must do everything possible to accelerate our progress," said Norwegian Prime Minister
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