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close this bookReducing Maternal Mortality and Morbidity (UNFPA, 1998, 22 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentDATA CARD
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentLIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
View the documentI. BACKGROUND
View the documentII. UNFPA AND THE SAFE MOTHERHOOD INITIATIVE
Open this folder and view contentsIII. SAFE MOTHERHOOD IN THE CONTEXT OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
View the documentIV. CONCLUSION
View the documentREFERENCES

IV. CONCLUSION

Both historical and contemporary evidence shows that reducing maternal mortality requires a national strategy to bring about three essential changes:

· Societal commitment to ensuring safe pregnancy and birth;
· Improvements in access to, and the quality of, health care; and
· Commitment to the special needs of girls and women throughout their lives.

The specific approaches and the specific technologies required to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity have been identified and shown to be common to women the world over. However, the major geographic discrepancies in levels of maternal mortality in different parts of the world point to the differences afforded to women’s place in society and their access to social, health and nutritional services as well as economic opportunities.

The poor health and nutrition of women and the lack of care which contribute to their deaths in pregnancy and childbirth also compromise the health and survival of their infants and the older children they leave behind.

Reproductive health includes safe motherhood and is a human right, underpinned by laws which empower effective action to increase women’s opportunities to gain access to quality services. Families, local communities, governments and the international community have major roles to play in enabling that access and protecting women’s health through improved nutrition and the prevention of unwanted pregnancy.

UNFPA is committed to working closely with other United Nations organizations and agencies, other members of the donor community, as well as Governments, NGOs and civil society, to achieve the reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity envisaged in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.