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Tracking Maternal Deaths As Leaders Assess Global Poverty

As world leaders gather at the United Nations this week to assess progress on the so-called Millenium Development Goals — a roadmap set in 2000 aimed at drastically reducing poverty and encouraging education and development around the world within 15 years — Amnesty International released a “maternal death clock” to track deaths worldwide of women and girls during pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable, Amnesty International says, and are largely due to lack of access to adequate health care.

Of all the Millenium Development Goals, “cutting the maternal mortality ratio by 75% has seen by far the least progress, less than 1% per year by the most optimistic estimates,” Amnesty International says on its website. “Of all the central development issues, maternal mortality needs the most urgent action.”