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Preventing Maternal Deaths in East and Southern Africa

Impressive progress has been achieved in maternal health in East and Southern Africa (ESA), but the region still sees far too many deaths and ill health related to pregnancy and childbirth, and far too many people, especially the young, cannot access contraception when needed. The region has the world’s second worst rate of maternal mortality at 455 deaths per 100,000 live births.

The data underlines the need to redouble efforts in ESA to improve the quality and coverage of sexual and reproductive health services.

UNFPA’s flagship project, Preventing Maternal Deaths in East and Southern Africa (PreMDESA), creatively uses a multifaceted approach. With funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the two year £18 million project is based on a shared vision - that ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights is a critical development, human rights and equity issue.

This report shows that, led by UNFPA’s regional office and working through 23 country offices in ESA - and in partnership with governments, institutions, and communities - PreMDESA is making a real difference in the lives of millions.