Maternal mortality

Maternal mortality is one of the highest prioritized health problems globally.
The fifth of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations is a 75% reduction of maternal mortality by the year 2015 compared to 1990. So far minimal progress has been made, especially in countries of Sub-saharan Africa where maternal mortality remains alarmingly high.

The most important causes of maternal deaths are bleeding in pregnancy, unsafe abortion, pregnancy induced hypertension and eclampsia, obstructed labor and infections.

 The main strategy to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity has been to increase the number of women delivered by a “skilled attendant”; a health professional with advanced training in obstetric skills.

Institutional delivery” is often confused with “skilled delivery” even though it has been demonstrated that institutional deliveries in developing countries are far from always the same as safe deliveries. Mbaruko demonstrated how interventions to improve delivery services at Kigoma Regional Hospital in Tanzania reduced maternal mortality in the region by 67%.


 By Bjarke Lund Sørensen


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