Initiative to cut deaths in childbirth has failed after 15 years

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  • Global initiative to reduce maternal deaths in childbirth fails to meet targets

    A GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO reduce the number of women dying in childbirth has failed fifteen years after it was started. Twenty years ago, The World Health Organisaion introduced the Safe Motherhood project, with the aim to reduce deaths during childbirth by 75% from 1990 to 2015.

    But today, a study published in The Lancet claims that it has not reached any of its set targets, and that maternal deaths in 2005 reached 536,000 – just 40,000 less than the figures in 1990.

    The rate of decline in the last 15 years is estimated to be 0.4%, which is ten times slower than would be needed to reach the initiative’s goal.

    Experts are pointing the blame at agencies and governments for not doing enough to build local health care provisions. Speaking to The Independent, Anne Starrs, vice-predident of Family Health International, commented, ‘You cannot give a woman a pill to prevent an obstetric death. You need a fully functioning health system. People have been looking for a silver bullet and it doesn’t exist.’

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