1984

Maternal mortality estimates are released by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time

Maternal mortality estimates are released by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time.

1987

The first International Safe Motherhood Conference is held in Nairobi; the concept of “safe motherhood” is defined and developed

Establishment of the Safe Motherhood Inter-Agency Group of UN Agencies, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Population Council.

1994

By 1994, every part of the world has held a Safe Motherhood conference to discuss the state of motherhood in their region

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) is held in Cairo. 180 countries and 1254 NGOs are present. The Cairo Programme of Action is adopted by 179 governments, marking an acknowledgement of the link between women’s empowerment, population, and development. Women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health are a central tenet of the agreement.

1995

The 4th World Conference on Women is held in Beijing

The 4th World Conference on Women is held in Beijing.

1997

The 10th Anniversary Meeting of Safe Motherhood Initiatives is held in Sri Lanka

The 10th Anniversary Meeting of Safe Motherhood Initiatives is held in Sri Lanka.
Three core action messages are developed, shaping the next decade of work:

  1. Every pregnancy faces risks;
  2. Ensure skilled attendants at delivery;
  3. Improve quality and access of maternal care.

The Inter-Agency Group expands to include the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).

2000

The Millennium Development Goals are established

The Millennium Development Goals are established, including goals 4 and 5: to improve child mortality, and to reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2014, the maternal mortality ratio.

2004

The Inter-Agency Group becomes the Partnership for
Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health (PMNH).

The Inter-Agency Group becomes the Partnership for
Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health (PMNH).

2005

The Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health merges with the Child Survival Partnership and the Healthy Newborn Partnership

The Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health merges with the Child Survival Partnership and the Healthy Newborn Partnership to become the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health.(PMNCH).

The MDG Report 2005 acknowledges that while the death rate of children under five is dropping and that despite some progress in some countries, overall there is little progress in reducing maternal mortality in the countries where giving birth is the most risky. The World Report focuses on maternal and infant health. It confirms that in the poorest countries, progress in maternal and child health is slow, stagnating, or in some countries even reversing. It also calls for the strengthening of the needed health workforce for scaling up universal access to maternal, newborn and child health services.

At the 2005 World Summit, world leaders agree to integrate access to reproductive health into national strategies to attain the Millennium Development Goals.

2007

The Women Deliver Conference is held in London, marking the 20th anniversary of Safe Motherhood Initiatives

The Women Deliver Conference is held in London,
marking the 20th anniversary of Safe Motherhood Initiatives.

2008

Countdown to 2015 – Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival

Countdown to 2015 – Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival. This high-level meeting is expanded to include maternal mortality and to integrate the participation of new partners in the effort. The Countdown to 2015 MNCH Report reconfirms that few of the 68 high burden countries are making adequate progress to reach Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. The conference called for scaled-up investments in basic health services and human resources to reduce the preventable deaths of over 10 million children and women each year.

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