Number of maternal deaths worldwide has halved in the last 35 years

African woman carrying baby

Good news for humankind!

The world’s latest milestones for climate, justice, peace, health, and more

May 6 – 12 2024 C.E.


Number of maternal deaths worldwide has halved in the last 35 years

The number of mothers dying as a result of pregnancy has declined precipitously in the last several decades due to reduced poverty rates, improved physical and mental health services, healthier lifestyles, increased access to contraceptives, and more. In 1985, nearly 600,000 mothers died every year worldwide. Today, it’s half that.


30% of the world’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2023 for first time ever

Global renewable electricity production is growing at an unprecedented pace, according to a new report from climate think tank Ember. For the first time ever, in 2023, renewables supplied 30% of the world’s annual electricity supply, thanks to the rapid deployment of solar and wind technology.


Molly Cook just became the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to the Texas Senate

Voters have made history by electing emergency room nurse and community organizer Molly Cook as Texas’s first out LGBTQ+ state senator. The Democrat’s victory was the result of a special election to fill the seat of John Whitmire (D), who is now Houston’s mayor.


Brazil takes pioneering action to rewild howler monkeys

Brown howler monkeys, endemic to the Atlantic Forest in Brazil and Argentina, became one of the 25 most threatened primate species following a yellow fever outbreak in late 2016. In response, Brazilian government agencies and other conservation organizations launched a nationwide population management plan, the first of its kind in the country, focused on coordinating captive facilities with experts who could relocate animals to areas where populations have vanished or declined.


Groundbreaking at-home cervical cancer test granted ‘breakthrough’ status by U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The Teal Wand is an at-home self-collect device that aims to improve rates of screenings and provide a comfortable and accessible alternative to traditional pap smears. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now granted the Teal Wand with Breakthrough Device status; a designation awarded to medical devices that the FDA considers “life-saving” or “life-changing.”


The world’s biggest carbon removal factory opens in Iceland

In 2021, the world’s first large-scale carbon removal plant started sucking CO2 from the air in a remote corner of Iceland. Now Climeworks, the company behind it, has opened a version that’s ten times larger. The new plant, called Mammoth, has installed 12 modular containers so far. By the end of the year, it will have 72, with the capacity to capture around 36,000 tons of CO2 per year.


New sensor is six orders of magnitude more sensitive than any electrochemical sensor for the deadly drug

Synthetic opioids are one of the main drivers in overdose deaths in the United States. They are often mixed with other drugs, but because of their potency, they are often present in such small amounts that they can be hard to detect. The new sensor, developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, uses carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles to tell the most deadly drugs apart from others.


The number of fish on U.S. overfishing list reaches an all-time low

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated analysis of American fisheries late last week via its annual “Status of the Stocks” report, which provides an assessment of the populations of the seafood species fishermen catch and customers buy. The report states that 94% of fish stocks are not subject to overfishing. NOAA said it was able to remove Atlantic coast bluefish and a Washington coast stock of coho salmon from the overfished list.


Belgian sex workers to get health insurance, pensions and maternity leave in world first

The law makes it legal to give prostitutes employment contracts, after Belgium became the first country in Europe to decriminalize self-employed sex work in 2022. It bestows certain rights on the worker and conditions on their employer. These include the right to refuse a client or a sexual act, as well as the right to interrupt a sexual act at any time without fear of dismissal or punishment.


World’s first wooden wind turbine blades installed in Germany

Wooden wind turbines promise to significantly reduce CO2 emissions during construction and production costs compared to current turbine blades. Designed and manufactured by Voodin Blade Technology, a German pioneer in wind turbine blade manufacturing, the laminated veneer lumber blades are a more sustainable construction material than current materials and allow for easier recycling of decommissioned blades.


Jacob Nufer of Switzerland performs the first known Cesarean Section birth with both mother and baby surviving (1500 C.E.)

Perhaps the first written record we have of a mother and baby surviving a cesarean section comes from Switzerland in 1500 when sow gelder, Jacob Nufer, performed the operation on his wife. The mother lived and subsequently gave birth normally to five children, including twins. The cesarean baby lived to be 77 years old.


Global maternal mortality ratio drops below 100 per 100,000 live births for first time in history (2039 C.E. ???)

For the majority, likely more than 1 in every 50 births resulted in the mother dying. However, due to advances in healthcare, poverty alleviation, and education around the world, the global community has made momentous strides over the last several decades. Now, it finally achieves the historic milestone of only one death per thousand live births.

These milestones have been added to the Archive of Human Genius, our database of social change milestones – past, present & future.

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