VP Koung Urges Action On Alarming Maternal Mortality Rate

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As part of the activities marking this year’s official observance of World Population Day, the United Nations office in Liberia Monday, July 8, 2024, engaged the office of Vice President Jeremiah K. Koung. The engagement was aimed at raising awareness about Liberia’s population issues, including demographic trends, family planning, reproductive health, and sustainable development goals.

   During the engagement, UN Resident Coordinator to Liberia, Christine N. Umutoni, disclosed that, among other things, an estimated three women die every day due to preventable birth-related complications in Liberia.

   Umutoni stated, “The SDGs set out a target to reduce global maternal mortality to 70 deaths for every 100,000 live births. The SDGs set out a target to reduce global maternal mortality to 70 deaths for every 100,000 live births. In Liberia, despite progress, the maternal mortality rate is 742 deaths for every 100,000 live births. At the current rate, Liberia and many other countries in similar situations are not on track to achieve the SDG targets.” Umutoni therefore said UNFPA in Liberia has therefore identified the need to accelerate action if the country is to get on track to meeting the SDG targets and the goal for zero preventable maternal deaths.

   According to the UN Resident Coordinator, strategic partnership is one of the accelerators UNFPA has identified to speed up progress.

   “This dialogue and engagement with the Vice President’s office can materialize important benefits in terms of the legal, resource, and policy commitments and direction at various levels that are needed for women and girls, men and boys to fully realize their sexual reproductive health and rights free from violence, discrimination, and the problem of limited access to affordable and comprehensive services,” Umutoni said.

   Accordingly, Vice President Koung, in remarks, lauded UNFPA and other development partners for their continued support to Liberia, but termed the current rate of maternal mortality in Liberia as alarming, underscoring the urgent need for action to combat challenges facing the country’s population.

   VP Koung, who is expected to deliver the keynote address on the official day marking World Population, emphasized the need for the UN and other development partners to focus more on training and creating awareness as a means of combating challenges facing the population.

   Referencing the data as presented in the detailed report by UNFPA, the Vice President said the production of available and accessible data is of critical national importance, which he noted is in line with the ARREST agenda of the UP-led government.

   World Population Day is celebrated July 11 every year to, among other things, promote access to reproductive health services, family planning information, and contraceptives to empower individuals and families to make informed choices about their reproductive lives.

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