About Sakshi Jain

Sakshi has recently completed her MA in International Political Economy from King’s College London, having completed her Bsc in Economics and Finance from the University of London. She has banking and finance research experience, and is currently working with India’s largest education NGO, Pratham, at their UK office. She is interested in international development, with a focus on health and education issues.

#2 How are we going to feed the future?


Today, 805 million (1 in every 9) people today are undernourished, and approximately 2 billion suffer from micronutrient de

ficiencies (vitamin and mineral deficiencies). By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.6 billion, and food being a vital resource, will have to be provided safely, sufficiently, with adequate nutritional value. How do we plan on feeding the future?

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When the Most Beautiful Journey Proves Deadly

MDG 5 aims to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015, and to achieve universal access to healthcare

MDG 5 aims to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015, and to achieve universal access to healthcare

Most girls grow up wanting to be mothers, of bearing and nurturing life. But for many millions of women, the process of pregnancy and the postpartum period can turn deadly for both mother and child. According to the WHO, around 800 women die every day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

The major complications that account for almost 75% of all maternal deaths are severe bleeding, infections (usually after childbirth), high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), complications from delivery and unsafe abortion. What makes the situation worse is that most of these causes are avoidable or treatable with proper care, education and processes in place. Timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death.

The main goals of the UN Millennium Development Goal 5–Maternal Health is to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by at least three quarters, and to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015. According to the UN, maternal health encompasses the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. It includes in its purview elements of family planning, preconception, prenatal and postnatal care.

Where we stand now

In the past 23 years, we have made some progress in providing safer, less lethal conditions and options available to expectant and new mothers. Between 1990 and 2013, the worldwide maternity mortality rate fell almost 45% from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 deaths in 2013. This is still far from the UN Millennium Development Goal of a 75% drop, and accelerated interventions are required in order to meet the target by 2015. That translates to a drop to 131,000 deaths by 2015. A Herculean task, certainly, but not impossible. Continue reading