This report reviews the last year of Phase II, 2017, which contributed to averting 119,127 maternal deaths since 2008. It provides an overview of Phase II as a whole and concludes with lessons learned and a look forward to Phase III, which started in 2018, guided by a business plan available here.
Over the past nine years, the programme has increased equitable access to quality maternal and newborn health in 39 countries with the highest burden of death and disability. The programme has done this by supporting governments to build capacity and competence in the areas of midwifery, emergency obstetric and newborn care, maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response, and prevention and surgical treatment of obstetric fistula. It has also introduced targeted programmes focusing on first-time young mothers to build and strengthen care-seeking behaviours among young women and improve their access to sexual and reproductive health services. Overall, the activities supported by the Maternal Health Thematic Fund have contributed to averting an estimated 119,127 maternal deaths since 2008.