Open for Comments: Draft Strategy on “Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality”

Recently, the WHO’s Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) Working Group released a draft paper which is designed to help set consensus and strategies for maternal and neonatal health in the post-2015 agenda. The draft paper “Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality” is now online and open for discussion through the World Health Organization (WHO) website. A companion piece to the Every Newborn Action Plan, the paper is the result of efforts by WHO’s Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) Working Group to address the direct and indirect causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in a post-Millennium Development Goals world.

For background on the technical work and the global consultation undertaken to develop the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality target set out in the strategy, and now included in the outcome document of the Open Working Group, Consensus Statement on Targets and Strategies for Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality is available for review. As detailed in the Consensus Statement, the EPMM targets and strategies address the significant inequities in maternal survival: 99% of preventable maternal deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with risk highest among the most vulnerable. The global target is to reduce the average maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. And by the same date, no country should have an MMR twice as high – 140. The strategy also recognizes that, “Attention to maternal mortality and morbidity must be accompanied by improvements along the continuum of care for women and children, including commitments to sexual and reproductive health and newborn and child survival.”

In order to strengthen global consensus on the targets and strategies for EPMM, the authors welcome comments on the current strategy document.

Comments regarding the Strategies document can be sent to: epmm@who.int. Online public consultation is open until August 8, 2014. Downloadable versions of the Strategies document, including versions in 6 languages and a version you can add comments to directly, are available at http://who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/maternal_perinatal/epmm/en/.