Improve maternal health
Where do we stand?
Maternal mortality has nearly halved since 1990, but levels are far removed from the 2015 target.
The targets for improving maternal health include reducing by three-fourths the maternal mortality ratio and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Poverty and lack of education perpetuate high adolescent birth rates. Inadequate funding for family planning is a major failure in fulfilling commitments to improving women’s reproductive health.
- An estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2010 worldwide, a decline of 47 percent from 1990.
- The regions with the highest maternal mortality, sub Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, are also those with the lowest coverage of births attended by skilled health personnel—less than half.
- The rural-urban gap in skilled care during childbirth has narrowed.
- The number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births is down from 440 in 1990 to 240 in 2010, for the developing regions as a whole.
- hile Southern Africa reported almost universal coverage in 2010, in West Africa about one-third of women did not receive antenatal care visits.
- The use of contraception is lowest among the poorest women and those with no education.
- More than half of all women aged 15 to 49 who were married or in a union were using some form of contraception in 2010 in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.
- Fewer teens are having children in most regions, but progress has slowed.
- Maternal health coverage has progressively increased in developing regions from 63 percent in 1990 to 71 percent in 2000, and then to 80 percent in 2010.