November Issue of Reproductive Health Matters Focuses on Maternal Mortality

 RHM participates in the 20th anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative

London, UK, 15 November, 2007 – Reproductive Health Matters and Elsevier are pleased to announce the publication of the November Issue devoted to the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative launched by the World Health Organization in 1987. The November issue responds to the question – Is Pregnancy Getting Safer for Women?

The answer is yes − and no.
• Globally, the maternal mortality ratio went down from 430 to 400 per 100,000 live births in the 15 years from 1990 to 2005 (a 5.4% decline)
• There has been a 7% decrease since 1990 in the estimated number of maternal deaths globally.
• In North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Oceania and the more developed regions, the number of deaths went down by more than 20%.
• In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of maternal deaths increased between 1990 and 2005, driven by increasing numbers of births and a negligible decline in the ratio of maternal deaths to live births.

The November issue contains numerous articles on women’s health and safe motherhood in the developing world. It analyses and answers pressing questions, such as:
• Why a majority of women with obstetric complications in Karnatuka, India die despite having access to good quality healthcare services?
• Why a woman in Botswana dies from high blood pressure unnecessarily?
• Why are so many women still dying from unsafe abortion complications?
• Why has donor financing for maternity services been falling rather than rising?
• Why some countries like Norway and The Netherlands are stepping up to the plate and pledging funds to support maternal health and gender equality?

Twenty years after the launch of the Safe Motherhood Initiative, even though the rate of deaths has gone down − an improvement − the number of women dying – an estimated 536,000 in 2003 − remains unacceptably high. In many countries in the world, maternal death continues to be the major cause of death among women of reproductive age.

This issue of RHM is available at

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About Reproductive Health Matters
Reproductive Health Matters is a twice yearly peer-reviewed international journal and offers analysis of reproductive health matters from a women-centred perspective, written by and for women’s health advocates, researchers, service providers, policy makers and those in related fields with an interest in women’s health. Its aim is to promote laws, policies, research and services that meet women’s reproductive health needs and support women’s right to decide whether, when and how to have children.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

Media Contact:
Pathika Martin
+44 20 7267 6567