Monday, December 13, 2010

Optimism for UN’s Promises on Maternal Health

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, a woman in Sierra Leone faces a 1 in 21 chance of dying during pregnancy or childbirth, whereas the risk of maternal mortality for a British woman is 1 in 4,700. The discrepancy between maternal health care in a developing country and a developed country is vast as you can tell.

The UN aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by year 2015. This UN initiative is more promising than past initiatives because of the high level of government/political involvement. Countries of the G8 have committed to the cause as well as some developing countries who promised to make major policy and financial pledges. Afghanistan committed to triple public spending on health care. And Niger pledged to introduce legislation to lift the legal age of marriage to 18 and to increase female literacy.

The WHO will also create a timeline for progress on maternal health while a group of 25 appointed global leaders gather information for this report – which will also shed light on what countries are fulfilling their commitments, thereby holding them more accountable.

-Clare O.

SOURCE: The Guardian