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Pregnancy and childbirth deaths reduced but stated goals remain unmet

In 2013, an estimated 289,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth around the world, many because they did not have access to appropriate care. That figure represents a 47-per-cent improvement from the Millennium Development Goals' baseline of 1990, when about 523,000 died. But the progress still falls short of the three-quarters reduction the international community pledged to work toward more than a decade ago.

And the story is similar when it comes to preventing deaths of children younger than five: the annual number of deaths dropped from about 12.4 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012, a reduction of nearly half. Despite this, the world is not expected to meet a goal to reduce child deaths by two-thirds.

The ask: Canadian non-governmental organizations are looking for another big commitment – $3.25-billion over the next five years.

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The situation in five of the countries where Canadian maternal and child-health assistance is concentrated:

Afghanistan

Maternal mortality: 327 deaths per 100,000 live births

Newborn mortality: 36 deaths per 1,000 live births

Child mortality under five years old: 91 deaths per 1,000 live births

Haiti

Maternal mortality: 350 deaths per 100,000 live births

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Newborn mortality: 25 deaths per 1,000 live births

Child mortality under 5: 76 deaths per 1,000 live births

Mozambique

Maternal mortality: 408 deaths per 100,000 live births

Newborn mortality: 30 deaths per 1,000 live births

Child mortality under 5: 90 deaths per 1,000 live births

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Nigeria

Maternal mortality: 630 deaths per 100,000 live births

Newborn mortality: 39 deaths per 1,000 live births

Child mortality under 5: 124 deaths per 1,000 live births

South Sudan

Maternal mortality: 2,054 deaths per 100,000 live births

Newborn mortality: 36 deaths per 1,000 live births

Child mortality under 5: 104 deaths per 1,000 live births

Source: This data was compiled by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and is based on United Nations reports and in-country surveys.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Kim Mackrael has been a reporter for The Globe and Mail since 2011. She joined the Ottawa bureau Sept. 2012. More

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