Maternal Deaths Drop by Nearly Half Worldwide Over 20 Years; Greater Progress Still Needed, U.N. Reports

The number of women dying of pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications has almost halved in 20 years, according to new estimates released by the United Nations, which stressed that greater progress is still needed in significantly reducing maternal deaths. The report from the World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Population Fund and the World Bank said about 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing nations, and most are preventable. The decline is attributable to increases in contraception and in antiretroviral drugs for mothers with AIDS, and to greater numbers of births attended by nurses, doctors or midwives with medical training. “We know exactly what to do to prevent maternal deaths: improve access to voluntary family planning, invest in health workers with midwifery skills, and ensure access to emergency obstetric care when complications arise,” said Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

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