“Every woman, whoever she is, wherever she lives, should be able to give birth without the fear she’s going to lose her baby or that her baby will lose her mother.”
– Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
According to World Health Organization statistics, every day approximately 800 women die giving life, and many more suffer serious complications from pregnancy, labor, and delivery, which can result in long-term disabilities. Maternal mortality reflects global disparities, with 99 percent of all maternal deaths occurring in developing countries.
Maternal deaths, most of which are preventable, happen around labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period. HIV/AIDS is increasingly a common cause of pregnancy-associated deaths in Africa.
Despite global progress to reduce maternal mortality, Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which calls for a 75 percent reduction in the maternal mortality ratio by 2015, lags furthest behind all eight MDGs. Research shows that mothers’ lives cannot be saved by any one intervention alone. Dramatically reducing maternal mortality will require a comprehensive approach, significant resources and expertise.
The U.S. Government has been a leader in supporting and encouraging countries to implement a full range of strategies to reduce maternal death, including:
Saving Mothers is a partnership of key government and private sector players in the global health field to reduce maternal mortality. The global partnership seeks to bring together partners’ strengths, experience, methodologies, and resources to address strategic gaps in maternal care. Founding partners include the U.S. Global Health Initiative; the Government of Norway; Merck, through its initiative Merck for Mothers; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and Every Mother Counts. The partnership is also actively seeking new partners.
Saving Mothers, Giving Life was established to aggressively reduce maternal mortality in countries where women are dying at alarming rates during pregnancy and childbirth. It began in Uganda and Zambia. The effort helps mothers during labor, delivery, and the first 24 hours postpartum – the period when two out of every three maternal deaths and 45 percent of newborn deaths occur.
Aiming to reduce maternal deaths by up to 50 percent in target districts, the program works to:
To learn more, visit SavingMothersGivingLife.org.