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Investing in maternal care

Jan 16, 2009

UNICEF’s flagship publication: The State of the World's Children 2009 explores critical issues in maternal and newborn health and thrusts upon creating a supportive environment for women. Examining current practices and policies, the report identifies the interventions and actions that must be scaled up to save lives.

The State of the World’s Children 2009

Publisher: UNICEF, January 2009

The difference in pregnancy risk between women in developing countries and their peers in the industrialised world is often termed the greatest health divide in the world.

The state of the World's Children 2009

While a woman in Niger has a one in seven chance of dying during the course of her lifetime from complications during pregnancy or delivery. The comparable risk in the developed world is 1 in 8,000.

Since 1990, the base year for the Millennium Development Goals, an estimated 10 million women have died from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

This flagship publication of the UNICEF's outlines that addressing maternal mortality is a multidisciplinary challenge, requiring an emphasis on education, human resources, community involvement and social equality.

At a minimum, women must be guaranteed antenatal care, skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics, and postpartum care.

These essential interventions will only be guaranteed within the context of improved education and the abolition of discrimination.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman calls on renewed efforts to prevent "needless human tragedy." In a foreword to the report she writes, “Success will be measured in terms of lives saved and lives improved".

The report explains why support for the rights of women and children is a prerequisite for improving maternal and newborn health, emphasises the need to establish an effective continuum of care and outlines ways to strengthen health systems.

It outlines the latest paradigms in health programming and policies for mothers and newborns, and explores policies, programmes and partnerships aimed at improving maternal and neonatal health. Africa and Asia are a key focus for this report, which complements the previous year's issue on child survival.

Source : UNICEF
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