Maternal Health and Sustainable Development Goals

Ivy Prosper looking on at mother and child during visit with the Maternal Health Channel to Northern Region of Ghana. (Photo: Des Clarke)
Ivy Prosper looking on at mother and child during visit with the Maternal Health Channel to Northern Region of Ghana. (Photo: Des Clarke)

In the year 2000 the United Nations launched its Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) which included initiatives to be met by 2015.  MDG 4 and 5 were focused on making improvements to maternal, child and newborn health while also reducing the rates of maternal, child and infant mortality.  MDG 5 aimed to reduce maternal mortality by 75% while improving overall maternal health care in developing countries especially.  The good news is, we did see some improvement in the statistics overall, however there are still many issues in so many countries.  While many developing nations saw a decline in maternal deaths, developed countries, like the United States,  actually saw an increase in maternal deaths.  It’s reported that a woman in the United States is now more likely to die from childbirth than a woman in Britain, Germany, Japan or the Czech Republic.

UNDP-MDG5

Being that we are in the year that the Millennium Development Goals were to be achieved that doesn’t mean all those who were making efforts for improvements should stop.  There was a concern as to what happens next, especially when all the goals have not been reached.  We are more than halfway through the year and now there’s a countdown to a new set of goals.  These are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  These goals are the ‘post-2015’ agenda.  They will take the next step in making real changes by guiding policies and prioritizing budgets in order to allocate what’s needed to sustain any improvements that have already been made.  It will not only help in the continued development, but it will also be an assistance to those who are most vulnerable and usually have the biggest challenges that often continue on from generation to generation.

The United Nations Summit convenes in New York City September 25-27, 2015 to make the final decisions on the SDGs.

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