Re: Setting the Post-2015 Maternal Mortality Target Globally and for Each Country

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By: Gabala Franco, Program Manager, Maternal and Child Health, Health Child, Uganda

As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to host a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us! 

The following guest post was submitted in response to the initial post in the series, “Setting the post-2015 maternal mortality target globally and for each country: A proposal” by Marge Koblinsky, senior maternal health advisor at USAID.

It’s my pleasure joining this interesting dialogue.

Uganda and other African countries fall under the 400 and over mortality ratio category and the implication is that the situation is alarming. A 75% or more annual reduction rate makes sense however the time lag is also an important issue that should be given prime attention. The shorter the period, the more committed systems and governments become; and the wider the space, the lesser committed they become. What happens in the latter case is that government starts trading and wiring  resources meant to improve maternal health outcomes to other sectors including defense, politics and individual investments. I therefore propose that reducing the maternal mortality ratio from 400 to 100 deaths/100,000 live births (for the countries above 400) only makes sense if the end year is 2025. It is also important to note that victim countries should be helped to put in place strong monitoring frameworks that will enable individual countries to timely and accurately generate data necessary for measuring progress.