Combating maternal mortality

01-06-2011

Despite the UN pledge to reduce the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by three-quarters by 2015, more than 350 000 maternal deaths occur every year, 99% of them in developing countries. Of all the Millennium Development Goals, least progress has been made on the one to improve maternal health. In the EU, the average MMR has been low and relatively steady in recent years. There are differences, however, between Member States (MS). Whereas, to some extent, they may be explained by unreliability of statistical data, some studies have linked those variations to differences in obstetrical care. Numerous UN agencies and international organisations have addressed the issues of women's health and rights. The debate as to which types of initiatives should be prioritised continues. The EU has been a consistent advocate at UN level, as well as in political dialogue with developing countries, to which it provides substantial aid. The European Parliament has spoken for increased EU funding and a coherent and multi-faceted approach to women's health, taking into account gender equality and women's empowerment.

Despite the UN pledge to reduce the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by three-quarters by 2015, more than 350 000 maternal deaths occur every year, 99% of them in developing countries. Of all the Millennium Development Goals, least progress has been made on the one to improve maternal health. In the EU, the average MMR has been low and relatively steady in recent years. There are differences, however, between Member States (MS). Whereas, to some extent, they may be explained by unreliability of statistical data, some studies have linked those variations to differences in obstetrical care. Numerous UN agencies and international organisations have addressed the issues of women's health and rights. The debate as to which types of initiatives should be prioritised continues. The EU has been a consistent advocate at UN level, as well as in political dialogue with developing countries, to which it provides substantial aid. The European Parliament has spoken for increased EU funding and a coherent and multi-faceted approach to women's health, taking into account gender equality and women's empowerment.