Millennium Development Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Target: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
In all of the developing regions outside sub-Saharan Africa, both the absolute numbers of maternal deaths and maternal mortality ratios declined between 1990 and 2005. In sub-Saharan Africa, maternal mortality ratios remained largely unchanged over the same period. Given the region’s high fertility rates, this has resulted in higher numbers of maternal deaths over the 15-year period. This lack of progress is particularly worrying, since the region has by far the highest ratios and lifetime risk of maternal mortality and the greatest number of maternal deaths.
The trend estimates available for maternal mortality indicates the lack of sufficient progress towards Target A of MDG 5, which seeks a 75 per cent reduction in the maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015. Given that the global maternal mortality ratio stood at 430 per 100,000 live births in 1990, and at 400 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005, meeting the target will require more than a 70 per cent reduction between 2005 and 2015.
Source: World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Population Fund and the World Bank, Maternal Mortality in 2005: Estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank, WHO, Geneva, 2007, p. 35.