Maternal Deaths Plunged Over 2 Decades, to About 287,000 in 2010, UN Reports
May 18, 2012
Increases in contraceptive use, health care provider-assisted births, and treatment for HIV-positive mothers have helped cut the maternal death rate by 47 percent since 1990, according to UN agencies.
In 2010, maternal deaths declined to roughly 287,000, from the UN's estimate of 543,000 in 1990. Deaths are falling rapidly in East Asia but slowly in Africa, according to the report compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the UN Population Fund, the UN Population Division, the World Bank, and a team from the University of California-Berkeley. Countries in southern Africa are witnessing the start of a reversal as more HIV-positive women there receive antiretroviral treatment.
UN maternal death estimates have been challenged in the past. Two years ago, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which was created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a way to validate WHO figures, disputed the UN's 2008 tally using three times as much data. In response, the UN "revised and improved" its count for that year. The institute estimated maternal deaths at 274,000 in 2011, meaning the new UN number is within the same statistical boundaries, said Dr. Rafael Lozano, epidemiologist for IHME.
New York Times
05.16.2012; Donald G. McNeil Jr.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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