Sarah's Insights: MDG#5

Today looking at Improving Maternal Health, which is Goal #5 of The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. It's comprised of eight international goals that were agreed to by 193 countries aiming to meet the needs of the global poor by 2015.

5. Improve Maternal Health

Two goals have been set with the goal:

a) Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio

b) Achieve universal access to reproductive health


The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is the ratio of the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births during the same time-period. Maternal deaths have declined by 47% globally over the last two decades. More births are occurring with a skilled health attendant present. In developing countries in 2011, 53% of deliveries in rural areas and 84% of deliveries in urban areas were attended by a skilled health worker. More women in developing regions are receiving prenatal care, 83% in 2012 from 65% in 1990.

What's Still to Be Done

The MMR is developing regions is still 14 times higher than in developed regions. 47 millions babies were delivered in 2011 without skilled care and only half of the women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of prenatal care.

Examples and Stories of Progress

Bangladesh is being supported by the UNFPA in training and sending out of 3,000 midwives by 2015. Midwives receive classroom and practical training in line with international midwifery standards.A RapidSMS app system in Rwanda has helped community workers track and report on pregnancies as well as ensure women can access emergency care if complications occur.

2015 and beyond

As with last week's goal, Every Women Every Child is spearheading a global movement involving leaders from over 70 countries, various organizations and private sectors working to save 16 millions lives of the women and children that are at risk every year. Commitments from over 280 partners have been made. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals include working further towards universal access to family planning services and information and education regarding reproductive and sexual health as well as achieving universal access to effective and affordable essential medicines and vaccines.

The official website for the MDG's contains plenty of information and encouraging stories - LINK


 Sarah lives in Northern Ontario with her family. Sarah and her husband have four children, and one grandson. She is an avid reader and learner.  In 2012, Sarah launched JustOne with Krista and travelled to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa together. Sarah has a blog we love to read called "Recipe for Messiness" that is about finding beauty amidst our messy lives. 

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