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Maternal Mortality Drops; MDGs Still IncompleteIn 1990, complications during childbirth claimed the lives of more than 1,487 women a day in the 75 countries where women were most at risk for birth-related deaths. This number, which totals 543,000 per year, was reduced to 287,000 in 2010. A decline this steep (52%) aligns with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the U.N. in 2000.

Countdown to 2015, an organization, which tracks coverage levels for health interventions aimed at reducing maternal mortality, child mortality, and newborn mortality, has collected statistics recording this decline since the 1990s. However, the steepest decline in mortality occurred after 2000 once the Millennium Development Goals were set in place. The Millennium Development Goal that specifically targets this problem is MDG 5.

The results of MDG 5 are a little behind schedule. The U.N. outlined a decline of two-thirds by 2015 and currently, the drop has only reached 47% worldwide. However, the total number of lives saved has been extremely high.

While it is easy to criticize the efforts of the Millennium Development Goals as being ineffective in reaching their target percentage, the general amount of good being done by the development goals is still very high. This type of progress oftentimes has a ripple effect which is very difficult to measure by surveys and statistics alone.

– Pete Grapentien

Photo Source Flickr

UNICEF India 2_opt
India has organized a national summit on Call to Action for Child Survival and Development from February 7th to 9th. Held in Mahabalipuram, the summit brought together both national and international experts, policymakers, as well as representatives of developmental agencies including the U.N., to assess challenges and work toward achieving India’s development goals.

India is the regional front-runner when it comes to social entrepreneurship and its rapid advances in the health sector, specifically in dealing with maternal and child mortality rates. The summit additionally presents the need to build upon this great momentum both locally and globally. Since the 1990s, India’s maternal mortality rate has dropped by more than 50 percent, while its child mortality rate has reduced by 45 percent.

The United States government has pledged its support for India’s Call to Action initiative. USAID has been actively working with the government of India in its development undertakings, especially eradicating preventable child deaths. USAID is now initiating the Country Development Cooperation Strategy, which will focus on fostering partnerships locally and work towards co-funding rather than fully funding agreements in support of the efforts for finding solutions for child survival.

USAID expressed its commitment to this effort voicing, “An investment in India’s children is an investment in India’s future.”

– Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana

Source: USAID
Photo: UNICEF India