In April 2014, United Nations (UN) agencies, donors, country stakeholders and other development partners came together in Bangkok, Thailand for a “Consultation on targets and strategies for ending preventable maternal mortality (EPMM)”. The aims were to forge consensus on maternal mortality reduction targets for inclusion in the post-2015 development agenda, as well as to identify maternal health strategies that will assist countries to achieve those targets. The discussions were the culmination of earlier technical consultations that employed specific analytical methods to define feasible maternal mortality targets.
The meeting was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF), and the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), with support from agencies and donors, and input from the EPMM Working Group. It was attended by over 95 participants from 34 countries, most of which are challenged with high rates of maternal mortality.
The consultation affirmed that ending preventable maternal mortality is within reach, and that the necessary acceleration of progress can be achieved by positioning maternal survival in the context of every woman’s right to health care and the highest attainable level of health across the life course. This goal must be supported by targets and strategies for the post-2015 development agenda, since sexual and reproductive health – along with newborn and child survival – are crucial elements of sustainable development.