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Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

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Goal 5 Picture
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TargetReduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
Target

Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health

An estimated 536,000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide in 2005, over 99 percent of them in developing countries. Difficulties during pregnancy and childbirth are the primary cause of death for women of childbearing age in these countries. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest maternal mortality rate—more than twenty times higher than the mortality rate for Europe and Central Asia. Although all regions have increased the percentage of births attended by skilled health staff, the statistics still remain low for South Asia (41 percent) and Sub-Saharan Africa (46 percent). Adult fertility rates have declined over the past 10 years in all regions, and 87 percent of countries with available data have increased contraceptive prevalence rates.
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MDG5 - Fig 1 - Maternal mortality rates

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The maternal mortality rate is the number of women who die either during pregnancy or delivery due to pregnancy-related complications per 100,000 live births. Such statistics are very difficult to collect through surveys, and data reported here rely on modeling techniques developed by the World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, and United Nations Population Fund.

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 MDG5 - Fig 2 - Births attended by skilled personnel

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The high maternal mortality rate in developing countries is correlated with poor health care during pregnancy and childbirth. Since 1990 the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel has increased across all regions, most noticeably in East Asia and the Pacific, where it increased from its 1992 level of 47 percent, to reach 87 percent in 2006. Conversely, the proportion of attended births by skilled personnel increased only one percentage point in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the maternal mortality rate remains the highest. Regional estimates reported here are based on country data covering 90 percent of developing countries’ total population.
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MDG5 - Fig 3 - Contraceptive prevalence

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The contraceptive prevalence rate is the percentage of married women ages 15-49 who use, or whose sexual partners use, any form of contraception. In most of the 89 countries that have two data points between 1988 and 2006, contraceptive use increased.

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MDG5 - Fig 4 - Ferility rate for women

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Adolescent fertility rates, or the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15-19, have decreased in all regions since 1997, but the 2007 rate in Sub-Saharan Africa (119) is more than seven times higher than the rate in East Asia and the Pacific (16).

Photo credit: Dominic Sansoni




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