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 MDG5 Authentic



Common Health Problems, Millenium Development Goals and Evidence Based Interventions

Sources of Evidence and Guidelines
  Malnutrition and MDG 1
   Children and MDG 4
Maternal Health and MDG 5
Malaria and MDG 6
Tuberculosis and MDG 6








































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Maternal Health



Millennium Development Goal 5

Millennium Development Goal 5 aims to improve maternal health by reducing maternal deaths, and improving access to healthcare for pregnancy and family planning.

  • Target 5A : is to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters
  • Target 5B : is to achieve universal access to reproductive health e.g. more women receiving antenatal care, fewer teenagers having children, contraceptive use increased, 


Maternal health

Maternal health is the foundation for child health, giving babies a good start, and building family health, for which mothers take a leading role.


  • Limited access to healthcare in pregnancy and childbirth leads to maternal deaths that are largely preventable
  • Effective, relatively low cost interventions are available, relevant to different resource settings across the care pathway for maternal health.


  • Less than half of all pregnant women in
    • the world have the four antenatal visits recommended by the World Health Organisation,
    • Africa and South East Asia are attended by a skilled healthcare worker during childbirth.
  • Maternity care is least available to
    • the poorest women
    • women in rural areas
    • women with the least education.

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Reducing complications and deaths

Most complications and deaths are preventable.


  • Up to 15% of all births are complicated by a potentially fatal condition, with haemorrhage and hypertension accounting for more than half of maternal deaths.
  • Indirect causes account for another fifth of maternal deaths, including malariaHIV/AIDS, and cardiac disease.
  • For every woman who dies, at least twenty others suffer illness, injury or disability.
  • In 2008, 358,000 women were estimated to have died relating to pregnancy and childbirth, with 87% of maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • Women face a lifetime risk of dying from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth of 1 in 31 in sub-Saharan Africa and 1 in 120 in South Asia.
  • Trends in maternal deaths show variable progress between 1990 and 2008, with 90 countries improving, while 2 countries showed no progress, and 23 worsened.



  • Family planning, safe abortion services (where legal), and community-based services.
  • Good antenatal and postnatal care.
  • Skilled birth attendance by a midwife, or someone with midwifery skills, to recognise, manage and stabilise complications,
  • Access to emergency obstetric care and skilled healthcare attendants for childbirth. 



Key effective interventions have been grouped as care packages, forming a continuum through pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, newborn care and care of the child, appropriate to different facility levels.


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Unintended pregnancy

Providing modern family planning, post-abortion care, and abortion (within national legal frameworks) are key to improve maternal and child health.


  • Modern family planning methods are estimated to have the potential to save 150 million maternal deaths a year by reducing adolescent pregnancy, birth spacing and limiting family size.
  • Unmet need is high and globally 215 million women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy are not using an effective method of family planning.
  • There are estimated to be 75 million unintended pregnancies each year and 22 million unsafe abortions.
  • An estimated 47,000 women died in 2008 from unsafe abortion and others suffered serious health effects.



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Women and Health

Development and reproductive health programmes can be more effective by seeking to address women's status, education and empowerment within their cultural context.

Addressing inequality in the roles and social position of women is part of improving maternal health, linked to other Millennium Development Goals for gender equality and reducing poverty.




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