Policy Paper: How To Close the Gap on MDGs 4 & 5

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have galvanized efforts to overcome the greatest obstacles to human development. However, progress towards MDGs 4 & 5 has been uneven, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for 3.5 million maternal and child deaths per year – representing half of the world’s burden of mortality for these groups1.

In the remaining 21 months before the December 2015 MDG deadline, a renewed and focused effort can accelerate progress toward the maternal and child mortality goals. Much evidence has been generated over the past decade about the essential interventions that must be delivered along the continuum of care to save the lives of mothers and children. Less is known, however, about how these essential interventions can be rapidly and sustainably scaled up in the two year timeframe remaining for the MDGs, taking into account the variation in policies, demographics, governance structures, management capacity, and health system strength across Sub-Saharan African countries. To inform policy options, we summarize available evidence on delivery platforms that are rapidly scalable which have been shown to be effective in increasing coverage of services and can save lives.

Global & Regional Initiatives

R4D is a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.