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Every preventable death poses a challenge to health, development, and human rights initiatives. Although the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) prioritize reducing maternal and child mortality, progress is unequal and the sustainability of related efforts beyond 2015 is a concern. Strategies that link the MDGs and human rights would facilitate more comprehensive, equitable, and sustainable progress in health and development. Strategies include: ensuring entitlements that link human rights provisions with laws and resources; building capacities for different contexts and challenges; promoting integration and innovation to catalyze progress; combating inequality and discrimination; committing to accountability for resources and results; and emphasizing sustainability.