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Press releases and news notes

Maternal mortality

Myanmar’s investments in children’s early development are paying dividends
YANGON, Myanmar, 15 June 2017- Investments in the health, nutrition and well-being of the youngest children in Myanmar are yielding dividends, UNICEF said as momentum is building up towards the global celebration of Father’s Day on 18 June. 

More than 16 million babies born into conflict this year: UNICEF
NEW YORK, 17 December 2015 – More than 16 million babies were born in conflict zones in 2015 – 1 in 8 of all births worldwide this year – UNICEF said today, a figure that underscores the vulnerability faced by increasing numbers of children.

Maternal deaths fell 44% since 1990 – UN
NEW YORK/GENEVA/WASHINGTON, 12 November 2015 – Maternal mortality has fallen by 44% since 1990, United Nations agencies and the World Bank Group reported today.

Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus elimination in India will spare thousands of deaths: UNICEF
NEW DELHI, 27 August 2015 – The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced today during the Call to Action 2015 Summit that Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) has been eliminated in India. This landmark achievement will save the lives of countless mothers and their newborns, UNICEF said.

Every Newborn Action Plan Progress Report, Strategies toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality launch at 68th World Health Assembly
GENEVA, Switzerland, 19 May 2015 — Since the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) was endorsed at the World Health Assembly one year ago, 15 of the 18 countries with some of the highest burden of maternal and newborn mortality have taken steps to improve care for mothers and their newborns.

Nepal Earthquakes: 12 babies born every hour without basic healthcare in worst hit areas – UNICEF
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 15 May 2015 – Around twelve babies are being born every hour without access to basic healthcare in the areas of Nepal worst hit by two powerful earthquakes, according to UNICEF, following massive damage to maternity facilities.  The children’s organisation warns that over the next month the lives of almost 18,000 babies and mothers could be at risk, unless urgent action is taken to restore key healthcare systems.

Shakira and Gerard Piqué host World Baby Shower to support UNICEF’s work for children
NEW YORK/BARCELONA, 19 January 2015 – Singer-songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira, and FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Piqué, are celebrating the imminent arrival of their second child by expanding upon their original concept of a ‘World Baby Shower’ to benefit UNICEF and vulnerable children around the world.

Progress for children in South Asia, but inequalities still exist: UNICEF report
New York, 11 September 2014 – According to a new UNICEF report released today, over the last 25 years, there has been progress in the health and well-being of children in South Asia, but glaring inequalities remain. 

Newborns move to the top of the child survival agenda
JOHANNESBURG, 1 July 2014 – At the conclusion of a global forum here focused on preventing maternal, child and newborn deaths, UNICEF said the commitments made by governments and public and private sector organizations have the potential to transform the outlook for newborn babies, millions of whom die each year.

United Nations agencies report steady progress in saving mothers’ lives
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 6 May 2014 - New United Nations* data show a 45% reduction in maternal deaths since 1990. An estimated 289 000 women died in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523 000 in 1990.

Maternal deaths worldwide drop by third
GENEVA. 15 September 2010 - The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34 per cent from an...

UNICEF welcomes Kiwanis partnership to fight deadly maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide
NEW YORK, 24 June 2010 – UNICEF today welcomed the announcement of a new partnership with global volunteer network Kiwanis International...

Launch of campaign on accelerated reduction of maternal mortality in Zambia
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA, 11 June 2010 – The Ministry of Health and its partners including UNICEF are planning to conduct a vigorous campaign to intensify...

UNICEF: Extreme Risks for Pregnant Women and Newborn Babies in Developing Countries
JOHANNESBURG/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 15 January 2009 - Women in the world’s least developed countries are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth ...

India’s silent tragedy: maternal mortality finds a voice
NEW DELHI, 7 October 2008 – The stories of women who die in India during pregnancy, delivery or from post-partum complications have largely...

UNICEF: Report highlights risk of maternal mortality in developing world
GENEVA, 19 September 2008 - A new report on maternal mortality, released by UNICEF today, highlights the risks faced during pregnancy and childbirth by women in....

UNICEF marks International Women’s Day by stressing importance of investing in maternal health
NEW YORK, 7 March 2008 – UNICEF is marking International Women’s Day 2008 (8 March) by drawing attention to the need for improvements in...

Maternal Mortality Declining in Middle-income Countries; Women Still Die in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Low-income Countries
Geneva, New York,12 October 2007 – The world’s maternal mortality ratio (the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) is declining too slowly...

UNICEF-supported report on Maternal and Child Survival in China Launched
BEIJING, 11 January 2007.The report launched today confirms that while China is on-track for reaching MDG's four and five, there remain serious concerns about slowing progress...

New Malaria Treatment Introduced in Somalia
NAIROBI, 25 April 2006 – A new effective treatment has been introduced in Somalia to curb the incidence of malaria, one of the leading killers of children and women, UNICEF Somalia Representative Christian Balslev-Olesen announced today on the occasion of Africa Malaria Day.

Afghanistan's maternal and child mortality rates soar
KABUL, 4 August 2005 - While Afghanistan is progressing from a state of emergency to a focus on development, women and children continue to face an "acute emergency'' because of exceptionally high maternal and child mortality rates.  "Infant mortality and under five mortality are very high, girls' enrolment is one of the lowest in the world and malnutrition affects almost half of the country's child population," said Cecilia Lotse, UNICEF’s Regional Director for South Asia, after a a week-long visit to the region.

In wake of Zimbabwe demolitions, UNICEF calls for global support to alleviate crisis facing children
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 26 JULY 2005 – In the wake of a report by the United Nations Special Envoy regarding home demolitions and evictions in Zimbabwe, UNICEF today repeated calls for an immediate end to the operation and for full humanitarian access to more than 585,000 people who have been made homeless.

Bellamy remarks at launch of Lancet series on newborns
LONDON, 1 March 2005, I am very pleased to be here representing UNICEF and the committed individuals from across UNICEF who played such a key role in the development of this series.  The focus of this series on neonatal deaths is important and timely. 

World Health Day, plight of Afghanistan's children cause for concern
KABUL, 6 April 2003 - On the occasion of World Health Day, which is celebrated on 7 April, the United Nations Children's Fund is drawing attention to the continuing health and nutritional problems faced by millions of children and women in Afghanistan.  (News Note)

Every Day, 1400 Girls and Women Die Giving Birth
Friday, 7 March 2003 - More girls and women die from the complications of childbirth in developing countries than from any other cause, UNICEF said today, calling the figures "a shameful record of discrimination and apathy toward women and their rights." Speaking on the eve of International Women's Day, UNICEF said that some 1400 girls and women die each day from causes related to childbirth, 99 per cent of them in developing countries. (Press release)

UNICEF applauds progress on women's health in Afghanistan
KABUL, 7 November 2003, – Exactly twelve months after the publication of a milestone report on the situation of maternal health in Afghanistan, UNICEF today has applauded its partners on the important progress made in safeguarding the lives of Afghanistan’s women.

Afghan maternal and neo-natal tetanus vaccination campaign reaches 3.6 million women
KABUL, 20 June 2004 – Figures now collated from around Afghanistan show that at least two doses of tetanus toxoid vaccine have been administered to more than 3 million Afghan women in 2004, and that 3.6 million women of child-bearing age have received at least one dose, following a nationwide vaccination campaign.

Afghanistan is among worst places on globe to be pregnant
NEW YORK / KABUL, 6 November 2002 - Surveys conducted by UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in four parts of Afghanistan have found that Afghan women suffer from one of the highest levels of maternal mortality in the world, with almost half of all deaths among women aged 15 to 49 coming as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.

Every Day, Every Minute, A Woman Dies Giving Birth
NEW YORK, 8 March, 2002 - Every minute a woman dies while pregnant or giving birth, the United Nations Children's Fund said today, calling for the world to do more to prevent maternal mortality - one of the few measures of human progress to remain virtually unchanged since 1990.




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