Fewer mothers and children are dying now than during the 90's, says a new report.
Poor countries like Botswana, Egypt, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania are showing tremendous decline in child death rates.
The report by Countdown to 2015 is authored by a global team of scholars and professionals from Universities around the world and from agencies associated with World Health Organization.
The Countdown to 2015 is a global movement of government, donors and health care professionals. The Countdown to 205 was established in 2005 and since then it has been monitoring progress in 75 countries that account for almost 95 percent of all maternal deaths.
"The Countdown report shows the who, what, where — and most importantly the why — of maternal, newborn, and child survival. It offers a clear, consistent report card that countries, advocates, and donors can use to hold each other — and themselves — accountable for real, measurable progress," said Zulfiqar Bhutta from Aga Khan University, Pakistan, the co-chair of Countdown and author of the report.
More than 10 percent of the babies are born pre-term, the report says.
"A commitment that doesn't translate into concrete programs and services is only an empty promise. By objectively measuring progress and identifying gaps, Countdown to 2015 is a critical tool to help civil society advocates make sure that their governments deliver on the commitments they've made to women and children," said Ann Starrs, president of Family Care International and author of the report.
All is not good though, the report says that even now somewhere in the world a mother dies due to pregnancy complications every two minutes.
Experts say that this data will help people working in the field to pinpoint the exact cause of maternal deaths in a particular region.
"The detailed country-by-country data show where each country has made progress and pinpoint where greater effort is needed," said Jennifer Requejo of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and the lead author of the report.
Recent report released by Save the Children said that Niger was the worst country for mothers due to high maternal mortality rates, while Norway was the best place to be a mother. The United States of America was at a dismal 25 in the list.
In a separate study published in 2010, researchers found that only 23 countries of the 180 countries studied were on track of achieving the Millennium Development Goal 5, a target of reducing maternal mortality rate by 75 percent. The study says that "more than 50% of all maternal deaths were in only six countries in 2008 (India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo)."
The report showed how highest-burden countries are doing in terms of reducing maternal death rates. The researchers say that already 9 of these countries are on track of meeting the millennium development goal.
A key factor in reducing maternal death rates is providing adequate nutrition, care and health facilities to the mother. The report found that many countries are facing a shortage of skilled health professionals.