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Scaling Up Access To Maternal, Child Health Care Would Prevent Most Deaths During Pregnancy, Childbirth

“Every day, 800 women lose their lives giving birth — 287,000 each year — and the vast majority of these deaths occurs in developing countries. … These deaths are unacceptable, particularly because they are preventable,” the heads of the Health 4+ (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, U.N. Women, the WHO, and the World Bank, known as H4+) write in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. They continue, “Every woman giving birth should be able to turn to a skilled health worker, and be given the life-saving — and cost-effective — medicines so critical to her and her baby.” They note the group is meeting “[o]n 24 September — during the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, … to advocate at the highest levels for the health of women and children globally” and “bolster joint efforts towards meeting the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in countries that are lagging the furthest behind.”

The H4+ authors continue, “What to do now is clear. Scaling up access to quality maternal and child health care and to life-saving medicines and supplies would prevent most deaths during pregnancy and childbirth.” The blog highlights a number of initiatives already underway, notes progress made in attaining the MDGs and concludes, “The H4+ is determined to keep up this momentum through 2015 by strengthening and building new partnerships. We urge decision-makers all over the world to join us and do what it takes to translate talk into action for millions of women and children” (9/21).

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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.