Maternal deaths halved over 20 years

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Mother with newborn

The number of women dying of pregnancy and childbirth related complications has dropped by nearly half over the past twenty years.

That's according to a new report released on Wednesday by the World Health Organization, the UN Children's Fund, the UN Population Fund and the World Bank.

The report, entitled "Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2010" shows that in that decade, the number of maternal deaths dropped from more than 540,000 to just under 290,000.

Dr. Yves Bergevin is UNFPA Senior Maternal Health Adviser.

"First of all, the goal was a three-quarter reduction of maternal mortality from 1990. We have seen a reduction by half, so this is already great progress showing that our efforts, efforts of countries, are working. And I think that's the key message: that we are making progress. Progress is uneven; it is too slow and variable in some countries and so we need to redouble our efforts. Several countries will meet the Millennium Development Goals, others will be a little bit behind in terms of years."

(Duration: 29")

Sub-Saharan Africa, are among the countries that are unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal deaths by 75 per cent before the deadline of 2015.

Filed under Today's News.
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