6 Improve maternal health

Tracking Progress

South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world – 2,054 per 100,000 live births. This is an astronomical figure representing a 1 in 7 chance of a woman dying during her lifetime from pregnancy related causes. Currently, there is only one qualified midwife per 30,000 people.

UNDP and UNFPA are supporting capacity building initiatives which include the deployment of international medical professionals to mentor and train midwives.

Facts & Figures


Where do we stand globally?

Maternal mortality remains unacceptably high. New data show signs of progress in improving maternal health — the health of women during pregnancy and childbirth — with some countries achieving significant declines in maternal mortality ratios. But progress is still well short of the 5.5 per cent annual decline needed to meet the MDG target of reducing by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio by 2015. more

1.34 years
remaining
until 2015

1990 2015
Targets for MDG 5
  1. Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
    • Most maternal deaths could be avoided
    • Giving birth is especially risky in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where most women deliver without skilled care
    • The rural-urban gap in skilled care during childbirth has narrowed
  2. Achieve universal access to reproductive health & inadequate funding for family planning is a major failure in fulfilling commitments to improving women’s reproductive health
    • More women are receiving antenatal care
    • Inequalities in care during pregnancy are striking
    • Only one in three rural women in developing regions receive the recommended care during pregnancy
    • Progress has stalled in reducing the number of teenage pregnancies, putting more young mothers at risk
    • Poverty and lack of education perpetuate high adolescent birth rates
    • Progress in expanding the use of contraceptives by women has slowed & use of contraception is lowest among the poorest women and those with no education