Some countries make good progress on child and maternal deaths while others stagnate

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 13 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4065
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Despite major achievements in improving the health of women and children, only eight of the world’s poorest 75 countries are on track to meet millennium development goals on reducing maternal and child deaths set by the United Nations and adopted by world leaders in 2000.

Since 1990 the global number of maternal deaths has fallen by 47%, from 543 000 a year to 287 000 in 2010, and deaths among children aged under 5 years have fallen by 37%, from 12 million a year in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. Most of these deaths occur in the world’s 75 poorest countries.

Millennium development goals 4 and 5 call for reducing maternal deaths by three quarters and the deaths of children under 5 by two thirds by 2015 from the 1990 levels.

Some of the world’s poorest countries …

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