WHO cuts global estimate for maternal deaths, says 1,000 still die every day

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization has slashed its estimate for the number of maternal deaths worldwide each year to 358,000.

As recently as April the Geneva-based global health body had put the figure as high as 500,000.

The revised estimate, which represents a 34 percent drop in deaths between 1990 and 2008, is based on closer scrutiny of figures provided by WHO member states.

The global body says the new figures still mean about 1,000 women die each day from complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

WHO said Wednesday countries need to do more to improve health care and family planning in poor nations to meet the U.N.'s goal of cutting maternal mortality by three quarters from 1990 to 2015.