6 Improve maternal health

Where are we?

Maternal mortality has declined by nearly half since 1990, but falls far short of the MDG target.

The targets for improving maternal health include reducing by three-fourths the maternal mortality ratio and achieving universal access to reproductive health. Poverty and lack of education perpetuate high adolescent birth rates. Inadequate funding for family planning is a major failure in fulfilling commitments to improving women’s reproductive health.

  • Only half of pregnant women in developing regions receive the recommended minimum of four antenatal care visits.
  • Some 140 million women worldwide who are married or in union say they would like to delay or avoid pregnancy, but are not using contraception.

(See: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013)