When in 1987, the Safe motherhood initiative was launched, the aim was to reduce global maternal mortality by half by the year 2000. However this goal was not achieved and consequently the 5th Millennium Development Goal (MDG-5) was dedicated to maternal health which aimed at a three quarters reduction of maternal mortality by 2015. The international figures indicate that 287,000 women continue to die from complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth, mostly in poorly-resourced countries. As 2015 draws closer and with MDG-5 lagging behind, there is increased tension amongst those concerned about poor maternal health because of missed targets and a fear that it has slipped off policy agenda. The need to refocus discussion in this area becomes ever more vital. This article aims to do just that.