Road map for Accelerating the Attainment of the Millennium Development Goals Relating to Maternal and Newborn Health in Africa
Abstract1. Maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality ratios have remained serious public health challenges in the African Region for many decades. Despite the fact that Member States have adopted various human rights treaties and conventions related to the improvement of maternal and newborn health, the translation of these commitments into practice remains largely elusive. The persistently high maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality rates constitute a silent emergency that calls for urgent attention. The death of a woman during pregnancy or childbirth is a matter of social injustice. 2. The maternal mortality ratio in the African Region is the highest in the world, estimated at an average of 1 000 deaths per 100 000 live births. Combined with the law contraceptive prevalence rate of 13% and the high total fertility rate of 5.5 children per woman, this increases the lifetime risk of maternal death. In many countries, between 25% and 33% of all deaths of women of reproductive age is the result of a complication of pregnancy or childbirth. For every maternal death, there are at least thirty women who suffer short- or long-term disabilities.1 3. Early sexual activity and marriage are very common in Africa and contribute significantly to maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. Approximately 13% of all maternal deaths occur among adolescents, mainly as a result of complications of unsafe abortion. The majority of the disabilities, especially obstetric fistulas, are also most prevalent in the adolescent age group.2
Regional Committee for Africa, 54. (2004). Road map for Accelerating the Attainment of the Millennium Development Goals Relating to Maternal and Newborn Health in Africa. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/93125
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-fourth Session Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 30 August–3 September 2004: Provisional agenda item 12.2
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC54/INF/DOC.6
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