The World Health Organization, with UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank, has released a new report on trends in global maternal mortality from 1990-2008. I haven’t read the full report yet, but according to the press release, “the number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34% from an estimated 546,000 in 1990 to 358,000 in 2008.”
Although this is great progress, the release points out that more work needs to be done:
The progress is notable, but the annual rate of decline is less than half of what is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015. This will require an annual decline of 5.5%. The 34% decline since 1990 translates into an average annual decline of just 2.3%.