During 2008, significant steps were taken towards reducing maternal mortality and towards achieving the necessary improvements in provision of health services in developing countries. However, overall progress on maternal mortality has lagged severely behind Millennium Development Goal targets.
2009 presents important opportunities and the White Ribbon Alliance is involved in several strategies at different levels – global, national and community – to maintain momentum and maximize delivery.
The White Ribbon Alliance’s Global Patron, Sarah Brown, continues to champion a global Maternal Mortality Campaign with the support of wide range of actors within the maternal health community. As happened last year, the voices of people in developing countries can potentially be amplified through this mechanism, and a concerted call to action made at national and international levels.
* Establish a major new innovative financing mechanism to fund health systems.
* 20 countries to have financed health plans in place by 2010, to meet the WHO recommended levels of 2.3 workers per 1,000 people by 2015.
* Appointment by the UN Secretary General of someone on Maternal Mortality.
* Appoint national champions to mobilize action at a national level.
* Agree on, and develop delivery plans for, a small number of high impact interventions (via the ongoing meetings amongst various groups and with regular circulated materials to all campaigning partners).
* Ensure maternal mortality is recognized as a key indicator of a functioning health system.
Every minute of every day, a woman dies of pregnancy related complications, totaling more than one half million women each year.
The Maternal Health Task Force contributes to shaping collective efforts to improve maternal health worldwide. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the MHTFt serves as a catalyst to address one of the most neglected areas in global health.