'Difficult to achieve UN goal to reduce maternal mortality'

'Difficult to achieve UN goal to reduce maternal mortality'

"For years, the status of women is not valued and the health of the mother is not given priority... As a result, highest number of women die during pregnancy," Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said here on Monday.

Mane, who is also the Assistant Secretary General of United Nations, said on the sidelines of the convocation of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences that the 'goal number five' may not be achieved unless all national governments work hard in this direction.

"Women can deliver children at home but they should get skilled birth attendant and if there are complications, they should be able to get an expert's assistance very close to her place," she said.

"Unless we work very hard, we may not be able to reach the 100 per cent goal," she said, adding at least the aim should be to reach 75 per cent.

To ensure reduction of maternal mortality, India has recently started 'Janani Suraksha Yojana' to save pregnant mothers and the African Union has declared a programme 'Karma'.

On the second part of the goal, Mane said even after so many years of having family planning programme in the country, there is still no access to multiple choice of family planning methods.

"It is important to make multiple choices of family planning available to women as it plays a crucial role in the reduction of maternal mortality. The fact that the two are connected should be understood and the role of men has to be emphasised here," Mane said.

She said it was necessary to involve men and sensitise adolescents about the importance of family planning methods and healthy mothers, who are crucial for healthy homes and contribute to the nation's human resource.