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Sharp decline in maternal and child deaths globally, new data show
Date:5/2/2014

5.

The study on child mortality shows that maternal education and income growth have had a significant impact in reducing child deaths. In addition, there is a strong trend in rich and poor countries that appears to be related to technological and other advances, such as vaccine and drug innovations.

A separate IHME study found that donor spending on maternal and child health grew substantially since 2000, indicating that the decline in deaths comes at a time of increased investment.

"The fact that we are seeing faster declines in child and maternal deaths in so many countries worldwide shows that international consensus around a framework like the MDGs focuses action and makes a difference," said Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of IHME and a co-founder of GBD. "As the world looks to 2015 and sets the post-MDG agenda, our findings provide a close look at what is working and point to where greater attention is needed to continue improving in maternal and child survival."

The leading cause of maternal death globally is medical complications of childbirth and the period post-delivery. Approximately one-quarter of maternal deaths were found to occur during childbirth and the 24 hours following. Another quarter happen during pregnancy, and the remaining deaths occur up to one year after delivery. Globally, HIV accounts for less than one out of every 100 maternal deaths, but in southern sub-Saharan Africa the virus causes 6.2% of deaths during pregnancy and childbirth.

For children, the data show that the earliest days of life are the most dangerous. In 2013, nearly 42% of global child deaths occurred in infants less than one month old. The 10 countries with the lowest child survival rates were all in sub-Saharan Africa.

Key drivers of progress in reducing child deaths at the global level include maternal education, medical and public health innovations, and rising income. For each additional year of school mother
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Contact: Rhonda Stewart
stewartr@uw.edu
206-897-2863
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Source:Eurekalert

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