New Delhi: Asia`s maternal mortality rate declined by 52 percent in the last two decades against a 34 percent decline globally, a report released Wednesday said.In Asia, the number of maternal deaths is estimated to have dropped from 315,000 to 139,000 between 1990-2008, the report, "Trends in Maternal Mortality" by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children`s Fund (Unicef), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank.
"To achieve our global goal of improving maternal health and to save women`s lives we need to do more to reach those who are most at risk. That means reaching women in rural areas and poorer households, women from ethnic minorities and indigenous groups and women living with HIV and in conflict zones," said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake. To achieve the desired MDG, UNFPA executive director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said: "The lack of maternal healthcare violates women`s rights to life, health, equality and non-discrimination. We urgently need to address the shortage of health workers and step up funding for reproductive health services." In sub-Saharan Africa the maternal mortality went down by 26 percent. Ninety nine percent of all maternal deaths in 2008 took place in developing regions, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounting for 57 percent and 30 percent of all deaths respectively, the report said. IANS
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