Fight against infant and maternal mortality
Fight against infant and maternal mortality (MDG 4 and 5)
In 2000, the United Nations Member States adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which include the following targets: reducing the mortality rate of children under five years of age by 2/3 (MDG 4) and reducing maternal mortality by ¾ (MDG 5).
Out of 211 million pregnancies each year in the world, half are unplanned: 63% of them (133 million) result in a live birth, 22% in an induced abortion, 12% in a miscarriage and 2% in a stillborn baby.
Approximately 500,000 maternal deaths occur each year, more than 99% of which are in poor countries. The risk of pregnancy-related death is 1 in 19 in Africa, against 1 in 10,000 in Europe. Each year, 54 million women die following a pregnancy, and, among these women, 100,000 suffer an obstetric fistula.
Out of 133 million live births each year, nearly 11 million children still die each year before their fifth birthday.
Six diseases cause 90% of the deaths of children under five years of age:
neonatal pathologies (from birth to the 28th day of life: prematurity, apparent death, infections, tetanus): 37%
acute respiratory infections (pneumonia): 19%
diarrhoeic illnesses: 18%
Solutions do exist.
To combat maternal mortality and morbidity:
- Prevention of unwanted pregnancies and spacing births apart: access to family planning methods,
- Presence of qualified personnel at delivery/birth (midwives, obstetricians),
- Availability of and access to emergency obstetric care (including caesarean sections and blood transfusions),
- Improving the status of women;
To combat the mortality and morbidity of children under five years of age:
- Prevention and suitable treatment of pneumonia, diarrhoeic illnesses, malaria, HIV/AIDS,
- Prevention and suitable treatment of neonatal pathologies: family planning, pregnancy monitoring, qualified personnel at delivery/birth, newborn care,
- Prevention and management of malnutrition.
France is the second-leading funder of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), contributing 15 million euros from 2003 to 2006, then 1.3 billion euros from 2007 to 2026, through the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm).
GAVI’s results for the period 2000-2008 are remarkable: indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.4 million of the deaths were prevented in the 75 poorest countries and that 213 million children received vaccines with support from the GAVI.
Through the French Development Agency (AFD), France is financing projects to support the health sector focussing on maternal and child health in many developing countries, including Cameroon, the Comoros, Haiti, Laos, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Niger, CAR, and Chad. The funds mobilized account for about 16 million euros per year since 2006.
France also makes annual contributions of around 2 million euros to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), specializing in support for sexual and reproductive health. For the period 2007-2010, it is financing a 2 million euro project implemented by the UNFPA to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in West Africa.
The fight against AIDS and malaria also plays a role in reducing maternal and child mortality: France is the second-leading funder of the Global Fund in the Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with 300 million euros a year and the leading funder of the UNITAID, with 160 million euros a year.
Over the period 2004-2008, France financed a 2 million euro project, implemented by UNICEF, to improve the treatment of AIDS orphans in three countries in Africa.
In addition, improving health systems (specifically, human resources for health and sickness risk coverage) is essential for achieving MDGs 4 and 5. Finally, France participates in the global alliance on human resources for health and the “providing for health” initiative to help countries develop sickness risk coverage systems.
To learn more :
Millenium Development Goals (MDG)
Updated on: 09.04.10