Maternal mortality rates around the world have fallen by 44 percent since 1990, said a UN report released on Thursday, giving fresh impetus to the goal of the elimination of pregnancy-related deaths by 2030.
"This equates to an estimated global maternal mortality ratio of 216 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, down from 385 in 1990," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman during pregnancy, childbirth or within six weeks after birth.
"Maternal deaths around the world dropped from about 532,000 in 1990 to some 303,000 this year," according to the report by the World Health Organization, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund, the World Bank Group and the UN Population Division, which is part of the UN Secretariat.
The analyses contained in Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015 are being published simultaneously in the medical journal The Lancet.
"Over the past 25 years, a woman's risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes has nearly halved," said Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director-general, Family, Women's and Children's Health. "That's real progress, although it is not enough. We know that we can virtually end these deaths by 2030 and this is what we are committing to work towards."
A new Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2015, aims to help achieve the ambitious target of reducing maternal deaths to fewer than 70 per 100,000 live births globally, as included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for the global development efforts for the next 15 years.
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