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[Comment] Modest global achievements in maternal survival: more focus on sub-Saharan Africa is needed

16 years ago, the target of a 75% reduction in the global maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015 was specified as an indicator for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number 5 to improve maternal health.1 As well as marking the end of the MDG era, 2015 also saw a new set of development targets proposed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are to be achieved over the next 15 years.2 Coinciding with the transition from MDGs to SDGs, analysis by the UN Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group,3 published in The Lancet, shows the extent to which the indicator for MDG 5 was met and what is needed to achieve the 2030 SDG target of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 livebirths, with no country exceeding twice that level.

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