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Goal #5Maternal Health
Introduction

Many people consider the day their child was born the happiest day in their life. In the world's wealthier countries, that is. In poorer countries, the day a child born is all too often the day its mother dies. The lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth in Africa is 1 in 22, while it is 1 in 120 in Asia and 1 in 7,300 in developed countries.

The Targets

Goal 5 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio.
  • Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health.

Did You Know?

More than half a million women die in pregnancy and childbirth every year - that's one death every minute. Of these deaths, 99 per cent are in developing countries. The lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth in Africa is 1 in 22, while it is 1 in 120 in Asia and 1 in 7,300 in developed countries.(Source:UNFPA)

  • Only 28 in 100 women giving birth are attended by trained health personnel in the least developed countries. (Source:ActionAid)
  • Achieving the Goals

    In the mid-1990s, the Honduran government adopted a four point plan to fight maternal deaths. The nation also initiated a monitoring system to determine the cause of death in all recorded maternal mortality cases. Five years later, Honduras had reduced its maternal mortality rate by half.

    Read the full story from the Global Monitoring Report

    Goal News

    According to the draft Health Service Development Plan (HSDP) joint UNDP and Ministry of Heath report of 2005, the per capita health service expenditure of Ethiopia is rated at 5.9 US dollars, the least among a list of other developing countries such as Kenya (31 USD), Uganda(18 USD), and Tanzania(8 USD). The report also indicated that in order to meet MDGs Ethiopia needs to increase the health service expenditure to 34 USD.


    UNICEF is marking International Women’s Day 2008 (8 March) by drawing attention to the need for improvements in maternal health care.

    Better access to maternal health care will reduce the estimated half a million pregnancy related deaths that occur each year and also help reduce child mortality rates.


    When the 189 UN Member States adopted the Millennium Declaration in 2000, they committed their respective governments to drastically cut the incidence of poverty by half and make the world a better place for everybody to live not later than 2015. The commitments in the declaration are espoused in a set of eight goals with achievable targets, commonly referred to as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


    Every minute a woman dies due to complications in pregnancy or
    childbirth, adding up to half a million women dying every year. Another
    10-15 million women suffer serious or long-lasting illnesses or
    disabilities.

    “No woman should die giving life,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.
    “To have a healthy society, you have to have healthy mothers.”

    In many countries, however, progress in maternal health has been slow.
    In some, the situation has actually deteriorated over the last 20 years.


    Every minute a woman dies due to complications in pregnancy or
    childbirth, adding up to half a million women dying every year. Another
    10-15 million women suffer serious or long-lasting illnesses or
    disabilities.

    “No woman should die giving life,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.
    “To have a healthy society, you have to have healthy mothers.”

    In many countries, however, progress in maternal health has been slow.
    In some, the situation has actually deteriorated over the last 20 years.