World health organization

2007: a review of notable public health issues

A mother and child in Kazakhstan

Maternal death rates falling too slowly

A serious public health challenge was reconfirmed this year: estimates released by WHO and partners in October showed that maternal death rates are falling too slowly in developing countries. The global maternal mortality ratio - which compares maternal deaths to live births - fell less than 1% annually from 1990 to 2005. This compares to a required 5.5% annual decline to meet the United Nations target to reduce maternal deaths by three quarters before 2015. Eastern Asia came closest to the target with a more than 4% annual decline. On the positive side, partners rallied in London, United Kingdom at the "Women Deliver" conference, where more than 1800 participants from 109 countries came together to pledge renewed efforts to reduce maternal deaths.

© WHO. All rights reserved.