President Obama Should Focus on Maternal Health

One thousand women die daily due to pregnancy related causes and the majority of Americans (75%) believe that reducing these deaths should be a priority of President Obama and his Administration.

This is revealed by a study just released by Americans for UNFPA, conducted by Harris Interactive.

Further, over eight in ten agree that lack of adequate healthcare is one of the most serious global issues facing women (82%).

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Now just five years are left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at reducing world poverty and accelerate progress towards the MDGs. The Goals include the target of 75% reduction in maternal death by 2015 and achieving universal access to reproductive health.

In line with U.S. support, the Administration recently introduced the Global Health Initiative, targeted to reduce maternal and child deaths and treat preventable diseases.

A recent UN study shows an annual average decrease of 2.3% in maternal death worldwide since 1990. A decrease of 5.5% is needed to meet the worldwide promise by 2015.

Americans for UNFPA is urging the American public to petition the Obama Administration to keep the momentum going and put women’s health at the heart of U.S. global priorities.

According to the study conducted by Harris Interactive:

  • Nine of out ten Americans believe that every woman on the planet deserves access to quality maternal and reproductive health care (91%).
  • Over eight in ten Americans believe that maternal health is an indicator of a functioning health system (83%).
  • More than eight in ten Americans say lack of adequate healthcare is one of the most serious global issues facing women (82%).
  • Over seven in ten Americans believe that voluntary family planning is key to saving women’s lives (73%).

“The numbers speak for themselves. The American people stand united in the call for universal access to quality maternal healthcare,” says Anika Rahman, president, Americans for UNFPA.

The study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Americans for UNFPA between September 14-September 16, 2010 among 2,052 U.S. adults 18 and over. The findings were released Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Americans for UNFPA builds moral, political and financial support within the United States for the work of UNFPA. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, provides women’s healthcare and promotes the rights of women in 150 countries around the world.

Harris Interactive is a leading custom market research firm.

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Rakesh Raman