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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds DR ANA LANGER: Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ending preventable maternal mortality will lead to healthier girls, women, and families, which can ultimately lead to stronger communities, societies, and countries. Since 1990, with focused attention through the Millennium Development Goals, maternal health has significantly improved. The global maternal mortality ratio, or MMR, declined by 55%. In 2015, countries agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. SDG 3 focuses on improved health for all and sets targets for reducing maternal mortality. Target 3.1 in particular is to reduce the global MMR to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. There are three recommended national MMR targets that countries should be working towards.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 seconds For countries with an MMR less than 420 in 2010, reduce the MMR by at least two-thirds from the 2010 baseline by 2030. For all countries with a baseline MMR greater than 420 in 2010, the rate of decline should be steeper so that in 2030 no country has an MMR greater than 140. For all countries with a low baseline MMR in 2010, achieving equity in MMR for vulnerable populations at the subnational level is the target. Ending preventable maternal mortality is a country-driven endeavour. Every country has work to do to improve maternal health, whether that means reducing overall maternal mortality or eliminating disparities among different groups of women.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds Countries can end preventable maternal mortality by adopting the recommended long-term strategies proposed in the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality Strategies report, which are grounded in a human rights approach to maternal and newborn health, and focus on eliminating significant inequities that lead to disparities in access, quality, and outcomes of care within and between countries. The recommended strategies for ending preventable maternal mortality address the full spectrum of maternal health determinants, from individual, biological, and behavioural characteristics to social, political, economic, and health systems factors that affect maternal health and survival and that you are learning about throughout this course. In the short term, countries should focus on the five key priorities highlighted in the call to action of the 2016 Lancet Maternal Health Series.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 seconds One: prioritise good quality maternal health services that respond to local needs.

Skip to 3 minutes and 13 seconds Two: promote equity through universal health coverage of quality maternal health services.

Skip to 3 minutes and 19 seconds Three: increase the resilience and strength of health systems.

Skip to 3 minutes and 23 seconds Four: guarantee sustainable financing for maternal and perinatal health.

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 seconds Five: improve the availability and use of local evidence to inform quality improvement. Countries should track their progress toward ending preventable maternal mortality and hold themselves accountable by using the monitoring framework that accompanies the recommended strategies. Ending preventable maternal mortality is an essential component of achieving the SDGs related to infant and child health, sexual and reproductive health, and gender equality, among others. Ending preventable maternal mortality is a critical step toward helping women survive, thrive, and transform as stated in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030. Thank you.

Global and national maternal mortality targets for the SDGS

What are the key global and national maternal mortality targets?

In this step Dr Ana Langer (MHTF; Harvard) outlines global and national mortality targets and the importance of ending preventable maternal mortality as a critical step toward supporting women to “survive, thrive and transform”. Links are made to the Sustainable Development Goals and aligned with Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality Strategies.

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This video is from the free online course:

The Lancet Maternal Health Series: Global Research and Evidence

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine