Dying: Millions of women in childbirth, newborns, and young children
A renewed effort to reduce the global toll
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13 April 2010 - Widespread global use of known and proven maternal and childcare techniques, practices, and therapies could save the lives of millions of women, newborns and children each year, according to a new analysis prepared for a mid-April meeting of world leaders and technical experts on maternal and child health. The meeting is being held to focus attention on this toll and develop a plan of action to reduce it.
Despite significant advances over the past decades, the detailed analysis shows that an estimated 350,00 to 500,000 women still die in childbirth each year; some 3.6 million newborns fail to survive the first month, and an additional 5.2 million children die before the age of five.
It shows progress has lagged mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where an estimated 82 percent of maternal, newborn, and child deaths take place.
The new analysis comes from members of Countdown to 2015, a global scientific and advocacy movement formed in 2005 to track global progress in reducing the toll of maternal and child deaths, two of the Millennium Development Goals set by 189 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. Countdowns focus on 68 countries, most of them in Africa, which together account for 92 percent of maternal, newborn and child deaths and include some of the poorest countries in the world.
The Press Release from the Countdown to 2015 follows. Several sections outline the problem, the causes, solutions and give country examples. Access these sections by clicking on the links on the right hand side of the page.