February 23, 2023

We risk the lives of over 1 million more women by 2030

At Maternity Foundation, we are concerned to learn that progress on reducing the global maternal mortality rates has stagnated after 2015 and that in 2020 alone, about 287,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth. 

 The newest data on maternal mortality has just been published in the report ‘Trends in maternal mortality 2000-2020 by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and UNDESA/Population Division. The report underlines that we must significantly accelerate progress to meet global targets for reducing maternal deaths, or else risk the lives of over 1 million more women by 2030. If we assume that the current trajectory will continue, the global maternal mortality rate will be 222 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030 – over three times the SDG global target of 70! 

 We especially need to advance progress on reducing maternal mortality in the poorest parts of the world, and in countries affected by conflict, where maternal deaths continue to be largely concentrated. Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounted for approximately 70% of global maternal deaths in 2020 with an average of 545 maternal deaths per 100 ,000 live births. 

 The majority of all maternal deaths are preventable if women receive quality care from a skilled healthcare worker before, during and after childbirth. We must fill the global shortage of 900,000 midwives and improve equitable access to quality maternal healthcare worldwide – and we must do it now!  

 The provision of quality maternal healthcare is a fundamental pillar in any healthy society and a prerequisite for advancing the well-being of communities worldwide.