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Remarkable progress in reducing child mortality and improving maternal health
Date:5/31/2013

itor and track commitments to the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010 to accelerate progress on the MDGs.

Findings reported by Countdown include:

  • The number of women who die each year from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications dropped significantly from 543,000 in 1990 to 287,000 in 2010. Thirty of the 75 Countdown countries showed reductions of 50% or more in their maternal mortality ratios between 1990 and 2010. However, nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa where HIV infections rates among women are typically high reported increases in maternal mortality over this time period.

  • Deaths among children under five years of age dropped from nearly 12 million in 1990 to about 6.9 million in 2011. Thirty countries cut child mortality by half or more from 1990 to 2011, and two-thirds of the Countdown countries accelerated their progress since 2000 compared with the previous decade.

"Momentum is gathering," says Elizabeth Mason, M.D., Director for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health for the World Health Organization. "But we still need to move faster. With less than 1,000 days until the 2015 MDG deadline, we need to maximize the power of time-tested basics like breastfeeding, soap and clean water alongside new medicines and technologies to keep even more mothers and children alive and healthy."

Key areas for more progress

The report also highlights areas where more progress is needed, including:

Newborn Deaths. Newborn deaths, i.e., deaths within the first month of life, now account for more than 40 percent of child deaths in 35 Countdown countries, and 50 percent or more in 12 countries. As deaths in children under the age of five have decreased, the proportion of these deaths that occur during the newborn period has increased. At the same time, the rate of progress in reducing newborn deaths h
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Contact: Marshall Hoffman
marshall@hoffmanpr.com
703-533-3535
Hoffman & Hoffman Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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