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the millennium development goals
goal 5
improve maternal health
Bringing a baby into the world should be a wonderful moment in a woman's life, but for many women, carrying a baby to term or giving birth is a dangerous act.

Every year more than 500,000 women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. A woman's life is jeopardized when complications arise during a pregnancy or childbirth and no trained health providers are available to tend to her needs. Often, a woman in extreme poverty simply does not have the transportation to an emergency medical facility.

Worldwide, more than 50 million women suffer from poor reproductive health and serious pregnancy-related illness and disability. Goal 5 aims to improve the conditions of mothers giving birth and reduce by 75% the number of women who die in child birth.
only with            
your voice
how youth are affected and involved

One of the major contributors to high rates of poor maternal health, is that a staggering number of mothers are actually young women, married at an early age where it is legal, and pregnant before their own young bodies have the chance to fully mature. When young women are married early, they are likely to be in unequal relationships with much older men, they miss out on furthering their education, and they have children earlier which puts them at higher risk of pregnancy complications or death. In fact, pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls age 15-19 in the developing world.

More young people need to be trained in the health sector to help with education and awareness campaigns around sexual and reproductive health. Adolescent girls can become active members of society, equipped through education to make the right choices for their future. Furthermore, young people need to be consulted on health policies, since many of the outcomes affect them and future generations!

How would you get involved? Visit our Action page for ideas that suit you!

For more on Goal 5 please visit:

Millennium Campaign Youth Site

Millennium Campaign

World Bank

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what needs to be done  

Welishe Simon (Uganda)

The primary means of preventing maternal deaths is to provide fast access to medical centres and emergency care, particularly in rural areas. It is also important to ensure that a midwife or doctor is present at every delivery. In developing countries only about half of deliveries are attended by professional health staff.

As in Goal 4, what is needed to improve maternal health is more family planning and sexual and reproductive health education. Young women can be empowered to make better choices when they have a fuller understanding of the risks and dangers associated with (early) pregnancy.