15 Dec Hoping for a safe delivery of UN promises on maternal health
Ask any expectant parent and you’ll often hear that while pregnancy is a cause of much joy and celebration, the process of childbirth and delivery itself causes anxiety. These concerns are not without some basis, as the risks of complications for both mother and baby peak around this time. The risk, though, is relative. According a report published earlier this year by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unicef, the UN Population Fund and the World Bank, a woman in Sierra Leone faces a one in 21 risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. By comparison, the risk of maternal mortality for a British woman is one in 4,700.
The launch in September of the UN secretary general’s Strategy for women’s and children’s health has been met with great excitement by those who want to see a drop in the number of deaths. The report comes with the promise of saving the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. But there is some anxiety about how this will be achieved.