Jenny Dyer, PhD
Of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), MDG5, or Improving maternal health, is critical for addressing other global health issues like child survival, extreme poverty and hunger. If Mom dies in childbirth or suffers severe complications, the entire family is in jeopardy. Kids may not be able to finish primary education in order to raise siblings. Mom may suffer from poor health and cannot maintain her job. Newborns lack a mother to nurture them in their first years of life.
Every year about 350,000 women die from pregnancy-related complications. 99 percent of these deaths occur in developing regions, and 80 percent of them are preventable.
Maternal mortality has fallen by 50 percent since 1990, but still only half or women in developing regions receive the recommended health care during pregnancy. The goal is to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent by next year. We have far to go.
You can help improve maternal health and combat maternal mortality through learning more about these issues, working alongside groups focusing on maternal health such as Every Mother Counts, and advocating for these women. We encourage you to make a phone call or email your Congressional Leader today to let him/her know that you care about maternal/child health and you want them to fully fund programs which would improve the lives of mothers around the world.