You are here

While progress has been made in meeting most of MDGs, the goal of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity has fallen woefully behind. In the Asia and the Pacific region, deaths and poor health among women remain unacceptably high. In 2010, for every 100,000 births in the region, 150 women died from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Subregional differences are stark: for every 100,000 live births, on average 220 women die in South Asia and 150 in South-East Asia, compared to 37 in East Asia.
The major causes of maternal death and disability include: excessive bleeding (haemorrhage); anaemia; infections/sepsis; obstructed labour; hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion.
UNFPA works to ensure that the four pillars of maternal health are universally available: the timing and spacing of pregnancies through the use of modern contraceptives; antenatal care; safe delivery; and emergency obstetric care.
UNFPA advocates for greater international commitment and support for sexual and reproductive health as a basic human right and a health sector priority. The Fund’s work is broad-based: it supports family planning services including counselling and a full range of high quality contraceptive methods; develops the capacities of skilled birth attendance for maternal health care through training programmes and encourages the use of international clinical standards; promotes laws and policies that ensure the reproductive rights of women and adolescents, while discouraging harmful practices such as early marriage; and advocates for programmes to expand basic health coverage for the most impoverished and marginalized communities.
In conflict and natural disasters settings, pregnancy-related deaths often increase. Reproductive health services, including prenatal care, assisted delivery, and emergency obstetric care often become unavailable. 60% of maternal deaths globally take place in fragile contexts. UNFPA works to reduce neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality through continuation of quality maternal and newborn health services and ensuring the availability of essential supplies, medicines and skilled personnel.