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African Countries See Slow Progress In Reducing Maternal Mortality To Achieve MDG 5

Inter Press Service examines what some experts are calling a lack of commitment from health care workers, which they say is “among the reasons why Africa may not succeed in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 on improving maternal health by 2015 by reducing maternal mortality by three quarters.” According to IPS, “Studies conducted by the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) in East, West and Southern Africa found that most countries are struggling to provide universal access to reproductive health.”

The news service notes that only three countries in the region — Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia — are on track to achieving MDG 5, while Uganda has made “reasonable progress” reducing the maternal mortality rate from 670 deaths per 100,000 women in 1990 to 430 deaths per 100,000 women in 2008, and Kenya has seen an increase in maternal mortality from 380 deaths per 100,000 women in 1990 to 530 deaths per 100,000 women in 2008 (Esipisu, 9/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.