The government of the West African nation, Sierra Leone, has defended itself on Friday against a report saying it had one of the world's highest maternal death rates. The government added that it had succeeded in reducing the number in recent years.
The government statement followed a recent report from rights group Amnesty International saying one in eight women risks death during childbirth or pregnancy.
Amnesty called the one-in-eight figure "one of the highest maternal death rates in the world."
The government statement said "maternal and infant mortality rates would be reduced by 30 percent over the next three years."
It added that "the recent demographic health survey showed a decline from 1,300 deaths per 100,000 in 2005 to 857 deaths per 100,000 in 2008."
The statement described the report as "unreasonable and not helpful considering the strides made in reducing the high incidence of maternal deaths."