Women are dying every day giving life – approximately 40 women every hour, a 34% decline from 1990 levels. Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death and disability for young women. While the number is decreasing, 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. And in developing countries, 215 million women who want to avoid pregnancy do not use an effective method of contraception.
We believe one of the world’s biggest health challenges will be meeting Millennium Development Goal 5 – improving maternal health by cutting maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015 and guaranteeing universal access to reproductive health.
There are cost-effective solutions that can save girls and women’s lives, like family planning programs, access to skilled care before, during, and after childbirth, including emergency obstetric care, and safe abortion, when and where legal. To deliver these solutions, we need to prioritize young people, strengthen national health systems that deliver for women, and advance and protect human rights for girls and women. Women Deliver’s message is that maternal health is both a human right and a practical necessity for sustainable development.
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