UNFPA Africa Regional Director Bunmi Makinwa urged African Members of Parliament to take bold action with respect to maternal and child health and the needs of young people. He made this call at the 2012 Annual African Women Parliamentarians’ Conference in Johannesburg on 4 October, where he also held a meeting with the Pan-African Parliament President, H.E. Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi.
While sub-Saharan Africa celebrated a 41 per cent reduction in maternal mortality over the past two decades, around 165,000 women in Africa die each year due to pregnancy and related causes. Most of these deaths could be prevented, Mr. Makinwa said. In the region, 1 in 39 women aged 15-49 years dies while giving life, compared to a life-time risk in Sweden of 1 in 14,100 women.