In 2017, an estimated number of 295,000 women died of causes related to pregnancy or childbirth in one year, meaning some 808 women still die every day. The global maternal mortality ratio has fallen from 342 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 211 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017¹. Although advancement has been made in the past two decades, this number is unacceptably high as most maternal deaths are preventable with timely support within the family, communities and by the skilled management by health professionals. Skilled birth care provided by health care professionals during childbirth is one of the key indicators for achieving Sustainable Development Goals 3. UNFPA strategized “three Zeros to be achieved by 2030” at the Nairobi ICPD+25 Summit in 2019, one of which is reducing MMR to zero. Other two include zero unmet need for family planning and gender-based violence and harmful practices, which are also closely related to maternal mortality. The vast majority of maternal deaths (94%) is occurring in low-resource settings, and approximately 86 per cent are living in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.
Highly effective interventions lie not only in structural medical health system, such as transport, facilities with sufficient equipment, supplies and drugs, and trained healthcare workers, but also in empowering women themselves, their families and communities to create supportive environment. Comprehensive community-operated continuum of care during pregnancy, childbirth and first six weeks after birth can make the difference between life and death for a mother and her newborn. JOICFP strives to ensure that each stage of pregnancy and childbirth to be safe and a positive experience, so that women and their babies reach their full potential for health and well-being.
Source: ¹ Trends in maternal mortality: 2000 to 2017: estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019.