UN Millennium Development Goal 5: Improvement of Maternal Health

Mother´s usually do a lot for their families, which is a very good reason to take care well of all mothers. 

“The goal of the UN is to decrease maternal mortality by 75 % by year 2015”. 

Facts about mothers worldwide: 

– Improvements in accessibility to maternal healthcare all over the world. 

– Healthcare and sufficient nutrition of significant value in preventing birth-related deaths. 

– Compared to mothers in Nordic countries, the risk of mothers dying during pregnancies and during childbirth is 500 times larger in development countries. 

– Every year almost 300.000 women die due to complications during pregnancies or when giving birth. 

– 99 % of all maternal deaths occur in development countries. 

– Despite of major improvements all over the world in the reduction of maternal mortality, there is still a lot to do before the goal has been reached. 

– In East Asia, North Africa and South Asia maternal mortality has decreased up to 2/3 in comparison to the situation in 1990. 

– In 2011, midwives/educated labor personnel was at hand only in 53 % of all child births in development countries. The percentage was 84 in urban areas. 

– Only half of all pregnant women in development countries have access to proper healthcare

(UNA of Finland. Printed Material. 2014).   

According to Save the Children´s “Surviving the first day – State of the World´s Mothers 2013” report, Finland is the best country in the world for mothers. Nice news for all mothers in Finland, especially with the upcoming Mother´s Day, celebrated on the second Sunday in May every year. Every child has the right to a mother, and every child needs a mother, is not that correct?

The same report indicates that the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa is the roughest state to be a mother. Save the Children´s report classifies 176 countries in terms of how these have succeeded and failed in supporting mothers. The index estimates mother´s welfare using measures such as a girl´s or woman´s risk of dying during pregnancy or during labor, children under the age of five mortality rates, the educational levels of children, national income levels, and the political status of women. Link to Save the Children´s “Surviving the first day – State of the World´s Mothers 2013” report: 


According to Save the Children, the high number of maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa can be explained through the fact that mothers are often very young, and their bodies are not yet ready to give birth to children. Other reasons include the low amount of contraception, insufficient healthcare during childbirth and a huge lack of healthcare employees. (Save the Children Finland. Quoted 9.5.2014). 

With these words I want to wish my mother, and all other mothers, a happy Mother´s Day on Sunday, May 11th 2014. You rock.

UN Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduction of Child Mortality

UN Millennium Declaration:

“By the year 2015, we will have reduced under-five child mortality by two-thirds”.


– Child mortality is decreasing

– Still, more than 20.000 children under the age of five die every day 

– Common causes for death: pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria

– Child mortality is high in 67 countries, of which only 10 can, with the current pace of change, achieve the goal set for 2015. 

– Child mortality is at its highest in sub-Saharan Africa. 

What affects child mortality: 

– Sufficient and healthy nutrition

– Access to clean water

– Hygiene

– Vaccinations and access to healthcare

– Lack of education for girls and women

(UNA of Finland. Printed material. 2014). 

In Finland, child mortality today is one of the lowest in the world, thanks to national vaccination (campaigns). In the beginning of the 20th century, every second child born in Helsinki died before the age of five. In the late 1930´s almost every 10th born child in Finland died under the age of one. 40 % of these children died of birth-related injuries, development misplacements or innate weakness. Today, in Finland, only a few per mille children under the age of one die, most commonly due to inborn deformities. (UNA of Finland. 2014; Statistics Finland. Quoted 8.5.2014).

UNICEF, United Nations Children´s Fund, is the world´s most influential organization supporting children (under the age of 18) in need. Founded in 1946, after the 2nd world war, UNICEF focuses on helping children. A year after its foundation, the organization launched its first vaccination campaign. At that time, Finland was among the countries receiving aid from the UNICEF. In the year of the Helsinki Olympics, 1952, UNICEF began its battle against malaria, and in 1965 UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Price. In 1988, UNICEF is working on launching a worldwide society working on abolishing polio. Once again, in 1998, UNICEF rises up to continue the battle against malaria. In 2006, UNICEF is one of the most important emergency aid givers, despite of the fact that still 80 % of the fund´s budget can be used to long-term development work.

(UNICEF Finland. Quoted 8.5.2014).

To fully understand the universal rights of children (everyone under the age of 18), please visit:

UNITED NATIONS Human Rights => Convention on the Rights of the Child

Since we cannot assume that children under the age of 18 are (fully) aware of their rights as children, especially if living in conditions where they may not even have access to education, it is necessary for adults to protect the rights of children.

The world has long ago made a promise to do everything to protect and to promote the rights of children, their survival, learning and growth, and listening to children. Despite of much progress made, there are still problems all over the world concerning the rights of children, and in some regions the situation may even have gotten worse. 2014 has been declared as a year of innovation at UNICEF, whereby the fund activates change-makers everywhere to rethink and drive improved results. (UNICEF. Quoted 8.5.2014).

In addition to the many local offices of UNICEF around the world, there are other independent organizations working to improve the life of children worldwide. These include Plan, World Vision, Save the Children and many others.