Intended for healthcare professionals


Experts pool ideas on how to cut maternal mortality

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 14 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5017
  1. Karen McColl
  1. 1Geneva

    When world leaders meet in New York next Monday to review whether we are on track to meet the United Nations’ millennium development goals, the lack of progress towards reducing maternal mortality will give serious cause for concern.

    From 1990 to 2005 the global maternal mortality ratio (the number of deaths per 100 000 live births) dropped by 0.4% a year—far short of the 5.5% annual decline needed to reach the target 75% reduction by 2015. While 99% of maternal deaths are in developing countries, improvements are also needed elsewhere: many apparently low mortality ratios in industrialised countries hide marked inequalities.

    How can governments and others be held to account for this lack of progress? A roundtable discussion in Geneva earlier this month brought together health and legal experts to consider what can be done to make it easier to monitor progress—or the lack of it—and to check whether countries are keeping their …

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