GOAL 5: Improve Maternal Health

Goal five of the Millennium Development Goals focuses on the maternal health. It sets the target of three quarters’ reduction of the maternal mortality rate. Every year, 536,000 women and girls die as a result of complications during pregnancy, childbirth or the six weeks following delivery. Almost all of these deaths (99 per cent) occur in developing countries (UN MDG Report 2009).

Maternal mortality is among the health indicators that show the greatest gap between the rich and the poor — both between countries and within them. The heavy concentration of maternal and child death in sub-Saharan African and South Asia is a reflection of this inequity in service. Reducing both types of disparities – between and within countries – is crucial for achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (Countdown Report 2008). It’s important to note measuring maternal mortality is not an easy thing in developing countries. Misreporting (underreporting) is common (UN MDG Report 2009).

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