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Dying: Millions of women in childbirth, newborns and young children
Date:4/13/2010

Widespread global use of known and proven maternal and childcare techniques, practices, and therapies could save the lives of millions of women, newborns and children each year, according to a new analysis prepared for a mid-April meeting of world leaders and technical experts on maternal and child health. The meeting is being held to focus attention on this toll and develop a plan of action to reduce it.

Despite significant advances over the past decades, the detailed analysis shows that an estimated 350,000-500,000 women still die in childbirth each year, 3.6 million newborns fail to survive the first month, and an additional 5.2 million children die before the age of five.

It shows progress has lagged mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where an estimated 82 percent of maternal, newborn, and child deaths take place.

The new analysis comes from members of Countdown to 2015, a global scientific and advocacy movement formed in 2005 to track global progress in reducing the toll of maternal and child deaths, two of the Millennium Development Goals set by 189 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. Countdowns focus on 68 countries, most of them in Africa, which together account for 92 percent of maternal, newborn and child deaths and include some of the poorest countries in the world.

Progress on Maternal and Child Health Lags

While considerable progress has been made towards meeting other Millennium Development Goals, the two goals on maternal and child survival have lagged behind, prompting a renewed effort to meet them.

"Because we know what causes these deaths and what would prevent them, major progress is possible," says Jennifer Bryce, a child health researcher at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Countdown group. "The Countdown analysis provides a road map, helping countries focus on their own data and take action to meet their specific needs."'/>"/>

Contact: Marshall Hoffman
marshall@hoffmanpr.com
703-533-3535
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Source:Eurekalert  

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