Maternal deaths down 45%
Maternal deaths have fallen by 45 per cent since 1990, according to new figures from the UN. According to the Trends in maternal mortality 1990 to 2013 report, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) stood at 210 per 100,000 live births in 2013, representing a significant decline from the figure of 380 deaths per 100,000 live births recorded 14 years previously. In addition, the rate of decline is speeding up - the MMR fell by 3.5 per cent between 2000 and 2013, compared to a 1.4 per cent drop between 1990 and 2000. But the UN says that unless more is done to speed up the process, the majority of countries will still not reach the Millennium Development Goal of cutting MMR by 75 per cent by 2015. Some nations are faring worse than others, too, since the report shows that ten countries collectively account for 60 per cent of maternal deaths worldwide. India leads the way on this, but Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, China and Uganda are all major contributors to global MMR rates. Meanwhile, Chad is the place where women are at most risk, with a one-in-15 chance of maternal death. Somalia comes second, with a risk factor of one-in-18.