The United Nations has launched a coordinated action plan to check the deteriorating sexual reproductive health of women across the globe.
The plan by UN agencies, WHO and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) comes in the wake of estimates that more than half a million women die during pregnancy and childbirth while 340 million contract sexually transmitted disease annually.
"There is a really worrying rise in the number and severity of sexually transmitted infections (STI)," UN World Health Organization (WHO) Acting Director-General Anders Nordstrwm said.
The programme seeks to increase skilled health attendants in target countries besides improving health of pregnmant women and newborn babies.
"We are faced with an urgent need to increase investment in sexual and reproductive health to ensure access to quality reproductive health services, including youth-friendly services, and to link HIV/AIDS and STI prevention with reproductive health services and vice versa," UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said.
The UN agencies also called for the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health in national economic planning and training of teams for planning and working together.
Annually, an estimated 529,000 women, almost all in developing countries, die during pregnancy and childbirth from largely preventable causes.
Many of the estimated 340 million new annual cases are untreated because of lack of access to services.