Reducing the global burden of preventable maternal and newborn illness or death has emerged as a major focus for developing nations. Though half as many women die in pregnancy and childbirth as compared to 20 years ago, the problem remains grave in certain parts of the world, particularly central and western Africa. Globally, an estimated 358,000 women die during pregnancy every year, and 3 million newborn babies die each year. Family planning resources are especially vital to natal and maternal wellness. Effective contraception is estimated to avert nearly 230 million unintended births each year, which also reduces the number of abortions that might otherwise be performed.