24 novembre 2015 nexizeteam

Maternal deaths fell 44% since 1990 !

On 8 May, women and their babies queue outside the maternity ward of Kissidougou Hospital in the town of Kissidougou, in the south-eastern Guinea Forestière Region. The women all gave birth via caesarean section, a service that was previously unavailable. Caesareans are now provided free through a recently implemented government programme, part of efforts to reduce the country’s high maternal mortality rate.

From 5 to 9 May 2010, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visited Guinea to help draw attention to critical issues affecting children and families, and to review UNICEF-supported efforts on their behalf. Children face heightened risks due to severely weakened public health services, widespread poverty, persistent food insecurity and political and economic turmoil. Fewer than 10 per cent of Guineans have access to basic health services, and over 70 per cent of the population lives on less than US $1.25 per day. Essential medicines are in short supply, threatening recent improvements in children’s health and contributing to the resurgence of several preventable childhood diseases. Some 1,080 cases of measles were reported last year, following a year with no known measles cases, and from May to December there were 37 confirmed cases of polio, a disease that was previously eradicated from the country. Maternal mortality and malnutrition rates are also high, and primary school enrolment rates, currently at 50 per cent, are falling. Ms. Farrow visited UNICEF-supported sites in Conakry, the capital, and in the south-eastern Guinea Forestière Region, including schools, and health facilities. She also met with young mothers participating in a government-supported programme to improve maternal health care, with youth groups, and with women subjected to sexual or domestic violence. Ms. Farrow also helped launch a peace-building project being implemented as part of a broader United Nations initiative to reduce young people’s involvement in political violence. U

Report from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division highlights progress

 

NEW YORK/GENEVA/WASHINGTON, 12 November 2015 – Maternal mortality has fallen by 44% since 1990, United Nations agencies and the World Bank Group reported today.

Maternal deaths around the world dropped from about 532,000 in 1990 to an estimated 303,000 this year, according to the report, the last in a series that has looked at progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This equates to an estimated global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 216 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, down from 385 in 1990.

Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman during pregnancy, childbirth or within 6 weeks after birth.

“The MDGs triggered unprecedented efforts to reduce maternal mortality,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General, Family, Women’s and Children’s Health. “Over the past 25 years, a woman’s risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes has nearly halved. That’s real progress, although it is not enough. We know that we can virtually end these deaths by 2030 and this is what we are committing to work towards.”

Achieving that goal will require much more effort, according to Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “Many countries with high maternal death rates will make little progress, or will even fall behind, over the next 15 years if we don’t improve the current number of available midwives and other health workers with midwifery skills,” he said. “If we don’t make a big push now, in 2030 we’ll be faced, once again, with a missed target for reducing maternal deaths.”

The analyses contained in Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015 – Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division are being published today in the medical journal The Lancet.

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