Search Resources (English): English, Maternal mortality

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Maternal mortality in 2000: estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA

Summarizes the complexity involved in measuring maternal mortality and the reasons why such measurement is subject to uncertainty, particularly when it comes to monitoring progress. Analyzes and interprets the results, pointing out some of the pitfalls that may be encountered in attempting to use the estimates to draw conclusions about trends. Also presents a summary of the kind of information needed to build a fuller understanding of both the levels and trends in maternal mortality and the interventions needed to achieve sustained reductions in the coming few years.

Published: 2003
Birth rights: new approaches to safe motherhood

Outlines the causes of high maternal mortality rates in areas of the world and suggests political and socioeconomic causes.

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Published: 2001
The world health report 2005: make every mother and child count
States that reducing maternal and child death tolls depends largely on every mother and every child having the right to access to health care from pregnancy through childbirth, the neonatal period and childhood. (See Details)
Published: 2005
Safe motherhood initiatives: critical issues
Analyses where safe motherhood initiatives stand today, what has been achieved and what remains to be done. Offers many different perspectives on making pregnancy, childbirth and abortion safer for women in future.
Published: 1999
Maternal mortality and morbidity: strategies for change: 1996 evaluation meeting in South Asia
Documents the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity: Strategies for Change meeting that took place in Bangalore, India on May 13-16, 1996, whose purpose was to establish the effectiveness of initiatives by the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) in addressing the problems of maternal mortality and morbidity in Southeast Asia.
Published: 1996
Report on maternal mortality on the occasion of World Health Day, April 7, 1998, devoted to the theme of Safe Motherhood
Examines temporal trends in, and the current state of, Canadian infant mortality. Explores differences within various Canadian subpopulations and compares Canadian rates to those of other countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (See Details)
Published: 1998
Special report on maternal mortality and severe morbidity in Canada: enhanced surveillance: the path to prevention
Identifies shortcomings in national, provincial and territorial continuous quality improvement efforts to reduce maternal mortality in comparison with benchmark international peers. (See Details)
Published: 2004
Beyond the numbers: reviewing maternal deaths and complications to make pregnancy safer
Presents strategies and approaches to review not only the levels of maternal mortality, but also to examine why it happens and what can be done to prevent them from happening. (See Details)
Published: 2004
Reducing maternal mortality: the contribution of the right to the highest attainable standard of health

From the introduction:

“Over half a million women die each year due to complications during pregnancy and birth. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable. At the Millennium Summit in 2000, States resolved to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters by the year 2015. This commitment is encapsulated in the Millennium Development Goals, which derive from the Millennium Summit commitments, and which have come to play a defining role in international development efforts. Goal 5 is a commitment to improve maternal health: the reduction of maternal mortality is an outcome chosen to assess progress in this regard. This resolve by States to reduce maternal mortality is not new. However, never before has the issue been given such prominence on the international development agenda.”

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Published: 2010
Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2008

Reports that the number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth decreased by 34% from an estimated 546 000 in 1990 to 358 000 in 2008. The authors says the progress is notable, but that the annual rate of decline is less than half of what is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015. This will require an annual decline of 5.5%. The 34% decline since 1990 translates into an average annual decline of just 2.3%.

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Published: 2010