To end poverty in the world, the United Nations and its 189 member states came together in 2000 and formulated eight minor goals, The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the end of year 2015. The fourth and fifth MDG aims to reduce respectively child mortality and to improve maternal health. In Sri Lanka, MDGs concerning maternal health and child mortality is almost on track with their desired outcome in 2015. Objective. To investigate the grounds for their positive outcomes related to low mortality and improved maternal health and to place them in a historical and a social context. This is a literature study and the means used to search for background information was Google Scholar and search engines PubMed, Cochrane Library and History of Science. A direct search in the Internet pages World Health Organization, Embassy of Sri Lanka in Norway, The World Bank and the Norwegian lexicon. One of the main foundations to Sri Lanka´s good health and outcomes has been the public health and welfare system which the country have had developed in the 1940s. Women`s literacy level and their opportunity to get an education is a critical factor in these reductions. Sri Lanka has rather continued their health improving actions. There still remain regional disparities in reduction of maternal and child mortality, due to poverty and civil war consequences in certain area, which requires further attention.