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Tuesday 25 September 2012

Africa Lags in Maternal Deaths’ Reduction

The report Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) 2012 report indicates that although the numbers deaths were falling steadily at the global level, progress was lacking in Africa.

By Lilian Museka

Africa is still lagging behind on numbers of deaths of women and children, a global report says.

The report Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) 2012 report indicates that although the  numbers deaths were falling steadily at the global level, progress was lacking in Africa.

The global strategy launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon two years ago, aims to save the lives of 16 million women and young children in the world's 49 poorest countries by 2015.

“1 in 8 births in low-income settings occur among adolescent girls, and sub-Saharan Africa continues to lag in progress overall,” the report says.

Progress on commitments to the global strategy for women's and children's health shows of the 20 billion dollars allocated, 10 billion has already been spent.

 The report adds that there was need for urgent progress in Africa to reach the target of reducing the deaths. 

 “Most of the gains have come in low-income countries where more than 95 percent of maternal and child deaths occur,” says Carole Presern, Director of PMNCH.

 Presern adds that country leadership and evidence-led policy should be keen to these achievements.

“Everyone has a part to play, and everyone needs to think creatively about how we can really demonstrate results.” Presern says.  

Meanwhile Mickey Chopra, managing director to Health for United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF) and co-chair of the Countdown to 2015 movement, which tracks progress towards achieving the Millennium Development health goals for women and children. Called on governments and donors to invest in maternal and child health.

 The current emphasis on women and children's health dates to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2000.

MDG 4 calls for a two-thirds reduction in the deaths of children under five by 2015 compared to 1990. MDG 5 calls for three-quarters reduction in maternal deaths and universal access to family planning by 2015, compared to 1990.

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