Women Deliver’ conference set to spur global action on maternal mortality
NEW YORK, USA, 17 October 2007 – Every minute of every day, a woman dies needlessly during pregnancy or childbirth, mostly in the developing world. These women are dying not because the international community doesn’t have the means to save them, but because it seemingly does not have the will.
The Women Deliver conference, which begins three days of deliberations tomorrow in London, seeks to change that. Uniting key international players under the theme, ‘Invest in women – it pays’, this groundbreaking global workshop seeks to:
The conference seeks, as well, to redress a grave worldwide inequity in maternal health.
In communities in industrialised countries where women have access to quality health care, the lifetime risk of maternal mortality is as low as 1 in 8,000. But in some developing countries – Afghanistan and Sierra Leone among them – a pregnant woman’s chance of dying is one in eight.
Key to achieving MDGs
The statistics are too startling to ignore – not only because these women deserve better, but because their survival is the linchpin to achieving many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as boosting child survival and slashing poverty (in addition to MDG5, which specifically calls for reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters, by 2015).
This is the case because the death of a young mother in childbirth sets in motion a chain of negative consequences:
Women Deliver aims to convince the world community that the health of women, mothers and babies is vital to the health and development of entire nations. With increased political will and financial investment, most women and newborns can survive so that families, communities and countries can thrive.