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Healthy Mamas key to achieving all development goals

Published 16th April 2010 - 4 comments - 1975 views -

Keep mothers happy and we all live.

"Healthy women are the foundation upon which all of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) stand,” United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro said during a working dinner on maternal health held in New York last Wednesday.

Yet of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Goal 5 on maternal health has advanced the least.

MDG 5 aims to drastically reduce maternal mortality ratio by three quarters by 2015. Women all over the world die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth at a rate of one per minute.

Migiro called for investing more on women to “break the cycle of poverty.”

“We must do so because healthy women are the answer to solving many of the world’s most complex and pressing problems: poverty, hunger, disease, and political instability,” she said. “When women have access to family planning, they typically have smaller, healthier families. When women are healthy, and their rights are protected, they are more productive. They generate income, which helps build strong communities and societies."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also announced that there will be a Joint Action Plan that will involve governments, foundations, the corporate sector, and civil society to accelerate progress for women and children health.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) also reported today that India, China, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania are making huge progress in combating maternal and child birth deaths.

In a recent study by Lancet, a British Medical Journal, the number of women dying in childbirth worldwide “had fallen dramatically” due to progress made in six countries including Afghanistan and India. The paper released last Sunday showed that the number of women who died in pregnancy or childbirth had dropped by over 35 percent in 28 years.

In the 1980s, for instance, India had the highest number of maternal deaths. From 1,080 deaths per 100,000 live births in the 80s, the figures are now down 395.

About 99 percent of the half a million maternal deaths every year occur in developing countries. UN said $20 billion would be needed every year between 2011 and 2015 to save women and children in developing countries from dying.

Why is achieving MDG 5 important?

  • No mother should die giving life.
  • When pregnancy is wanted, abortion is prevented.
  • If a woman can plan the spacing of her children, she can plan her and her family’s life.
  • Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights.
  • Providing the young with right information and services helps them become more responsible.
  • High population growth breeds poverty and inequality.
  • The larger the population a country has, the greater will be the pressure on basic social services and on natural resources.
  • Investing in population and reproductive health is cost-effective. (Source: UNFPA)

Read more about maternal health here:

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009

WHO 2009. Women and Health: Today's Evidence Tomorrow's Agenda

UNIFEM Progress of the World's Women 2008/2009. Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability

UNFPA State of World Population 2009. Facing a Changing World: Women, Population, and Climate


  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 16th April 2010:

    Ditto Avie!

  • Clare Herbert on 19th April 2010:

    Love this! Especially the bit about why achieve MDG 5!

  • Ruth Spencer on 13th May 2010:

    This is a fabulous report, Avigail! Keep it up! I’d love to read more posts like this one…

  • Helena Goldon on 11th August 2010:

    Avigail, have you seen this:

    Very powerful facts there:
    “A woman or girl will reinvest 90% of her income into her family. A man will reinvest 30-40%” or “for every development dollar spent, girls receive less than two cents”.
    Indeed, a key to achieving MDG’s are Healthy Mamas!

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