HC Deb 10 January 2001 vol 360 cc576-7W
8. Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to visit Azerbaijan to investigate the safe motherhood programme. [143202]

Mr. Foulkes

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, maternal mortality in Azerbaijan has deteriorated from around 10 to over 40 deaths per 100,000 live births. My Department is supporting Safe Motherhood there by providing funding of £240,000 to the United Nations Population Fund's Reproductive Health Programme for Azerbaijan, which aims to train community midwives in modern contraceptive methods and maternity care.

12. Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the progress being made towards attaining international targets for the reduction of maternal mortality. [143207]

Clare Short

The UK Government are working to help to achieve the International Development Target of a reduction by three quarters in maternal mortality by 2015. Significant progress is being made in much of Asia, but progress is slow in sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV is a significant factor in increasing maternal mortality rates. Progress has also been slow because safe motherhood requires investment beyond primary health care, tackling health, education, transport and gender.

DFID is taking a leadership role in supporting comprehensive, multi-sectoral Government-led safe motherhood programmes in Malawi and Nepal. More work is planned in Tanzania and Kenya. We are encouraging other bilateral and multilateral donors to include maternal health as a key component of health sector strengthening packages, using World Health Organisation standards for better pregnancy care. DFID is also supporting the World Health Organisation in its work to raise the international profile of maternal health.