Maternal Health

Namusika Teopista seven months pregnant with her fourth child.
Namusika Teopista seven months pregnant with her fourth child.
Photo Credit: Amy Fowler / USAID

When a mother dies in childbirth, her infant has only a 19 percent chance of surviving his or her first month of life.

In the last two decades, the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births has decreased by more than 50 percent in U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) 25 priority countries for maternal and child health. Despite such substantial progress, the World Health Organization reports that 830 women still die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, a reflection of the deep inequities in accessing health services.

USAID’S Response

  • Enabling and mobilizing individuals and communities. Integrating the community into the health system is essential. USAID partners with community leaders, local and national governments, and private sector organizations to improve the equity of access to high-quality care for women and their families.
  • Advancing quality, respectful care. USAID promotes local, national, and global policies that support women’s choices of care and recognize, address, and hold accountable those responsible for the disrespect of and unsatisfactory conditions for women and their health care providers.
  • Strengthening health systems and continuous learning. Through both public and private sector partnerships, USAID works to strengthen countries’ health systems holistically, at all levels of operation. In addition, USAID promotes innovation and research in both policies and programs and works to scale-up high-impact, sustainable interventions.

USAID's Impact


Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality: USAID Maternal Health Vision for Action

USAID Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths

Saving Lives at Birth Partnership

Saving Mothers, Giving Life

Photo Gallery: USAID’s Efforts to End Preventable Maternal Mortality

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: October 25, 2018

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