Bangkok Delivers

Posted on

By: Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force and Women and Health Initiative

Big news from Bangkok. With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaching, the maternal health community spoke with one voice to set the next goal for global maternal mortality: 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. Nearly 100 people from more than 30 countries agreed on this target last week at a meeting in Bangkok, Thaliand, hosted by the World Health Organization, Maternal Health Task Force, UNFPA, USAID and MCHIP.

The goal is aligned with those of mortality rates of childhood (ending preventable child deaths) and newborns (ending preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths). It was determined in preparation for the UN-led processes of creating the next set of development goals. Ending preventable maternal mortality, essential to sustainable development, is critical for women and children’s health and families and communities’ well being.

Towards this end, the global maternal health community has engaged in numerous technical and country consultations, including the Bangkok meeting. Meeting participants strongly felt that meeting a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 70 by 2030 is within reach. To be achieved, however, progress in many countries needs to be accelerated. To meet the global average target, countries with a high burden of maternal mortality—an MMR of more than 420—need to increase the pace of reduction of maternal deaths and strive for an MMR of no more than140 by 2030. Countries with MMRs already lower than 70 must increase their efforts and target their most vulnerable women.

The priority for the next 15 years is to support the work at the national level to improve maternal health and reduce inequalities. We need to keep a close eye on helping all women everywhere gain access to high quality health care across the lifespan.

This post was originally published on Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action‘s blog.