Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

GLOBAL: Maternal Deaths Plunged over 2 Decades, to About 287,000 in 2010, UN Reports


New York Times (05.16.12) - Friday, May 18, 2012

Increases in contraceptive use, health care provider-assisted births, and treatment for HIV-positive mothers have helped cut the maternal death rate by 47 percent since 1990, according to UN agencies.

In 2010, maternal deaths declined to roughly 287,000, from the UN's estimate of 543,000 in 1990. Deaths are falling rapidly in East Asia but slowly in Africa, according to the report compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the UN Population Fund, the UN Population Division, the World Bank, and a team from the University of California-Berkeley. Countries in southern Africa are witnessing the start of a reversal as more HIV-positive women there receive antiretroviral treatment.

UN maternal death estimates have been challenged in the past. Two years ago, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which was created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a way to validate WHO figures, disputed the UN's 2008 tally using three times as much data. In response, the UN "revised and improved" its count for that year. The institute estimated maternal deaths at 274,000 in 2011, meaning the new UN number is within the same statistical boundaries, said Dr. Rafael Lozano, epidemiologist for IHME.


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in May 18, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.