Estimates of maternal mortality worldwide between 1990 and 2005: An assessment of available data

Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 10/2007; 370(9595):1311-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61572-4
Source: PubMed


Maternal mortality, as a largely avoidable cause of death, is an important focus of international development efforts, and a target for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5. However, data weaknesses have made monitoring progress problematic. In 2006, a new maternal mortality working group was established to develop improved estimation methods and make new estimates of maternal mortality for 2005, and to analyse trends in maternal mortality since 1990.
We developed and used a range of methods, depending on the type of data available, to produce comparable country, regional, and global estimates of maternal mortality ratios for 2005 and to assess trends between 1990 and 2005.
We estimate that there were 535,900 maternal deaths in 2005, corresponding to a maternal mortality ratio of 402 (uncertainty bounds 216-654) deaths per 100,000 livebirths. Most maternal deaths in 2005 were concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa (270,500, 50%) and Asia (240,600, 45%). For all countries with data, there was a decrease of 2.5% per year in the maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2005 (p<0.0001); however, there was no evidence of a significant reduction in maternal mortality ratios in sub-Saharan Africa in the same period.
Although some regions have shown some progress since 1990 in reducing maternal deaths, maternal mortality ratios in sub-Saharan Africa have remained very high, with little evidence of improvement in the past 15 years. To achieve MDG5 targets by 2015 will require sustained and urgent emphasis on improved pregnancy and delivery care throughout the developing world.

15 Reads
  • Source
    • "Maternal mortality and early perinatal mortality estimates in Niger were insufficient to serve as baselines. Niger's official maternal mortality ratio was 590 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in 2010, although higher (1800 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2005; range 840–2900) and lower (range 360–1100 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2010) estimates exist [3] [4] [19]. To our knowledge, no estimate of the birth-related maternal mortality rate exists for Niger, even in hospitals. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective To assess the impact of a pilot community-mobilization program on maternal and perinatal mortality and obstetric fistula in Niger. Methods In the program, village volunteers identify and evacuate women with protracted labor, provide education, and collect data on pregnancies, births, and deaths. These data were used to calculate the reduction in maternal mortality, perinatal mortality, and obstetric fistula in the program area from July 2008 to June 2011. Results The birth-related maternal mortality fell by 73.0% between years 1 and 3 (P < 0.001), from 630 (95% confidence interval [CI] 448–861) to 170 (95% CI 85–305) deaths per 100 000 live births. Early perinatal mortality fell by 61.5% (P < 0.001), from 35 (95% CI 31–40) to 13 (95% CI 10–16) deaths per 1000 births. No deaths due to obstructed labor mortality were reported after the lead-in period (February to June 2008). Seven cases of community-acquired fistula were reported between February 2008 and July 2009; from August 2009 to June 2011 (23 months; 12 254 live births), no cases were recorded. Conclusion Community mobilization helped to prevent obstetric fistula and birth-related deaths of women and infants in a large, remote, resource-poor area.
    International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 12/2014; 127(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijgo.2014.06.016 · 1.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "African adults face infectious and sexually transmitted disease, including some of the world's highest rates of HIV/AIDS (Bongaarts, 1996). For African women, reproductive and obstetric complications are additional causes of poor health and mortality (Hill et al., 2007). Like much of the Global South, African adults are also experiencing a growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension (Baldwin and Amato, 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigates whether literacy skills are a distinct dimension of education that influences young adults' health in the southeast African context of Malawi. It uses new data from Tsogolo la Thanzi, a study of young adults in southern Malawi, to achieve three aims. The first is descriptive: to demonstrate a direct assessment for measuring literacy in a population-based survey, and show that it captures variability in skills among young adults, including those with comparable levels of educational attainment. The second aim is to identify whether literacy influences young adults' health - net of their educational attainment and other confounding factors. Multivariate analyses reveal that literacy is associated with two measures of physical health: self-rated health and prolonged sickness. Because literacy is a key determinant of health, the third aim is to provide insight into how to measure it: can commonly used indirect approaches to estimating literacy (e.g., based on educational attainment or self-reports), accurately capture its prevalence and relationship with health? In a second set of analyses, bivariate results show whether, and the extent to which, indirect measures of literacy overestimate literacy's prevalence, and multivariate models assess whether indirect estimates of literacy capture its relationship with health. The findings support future efforts to incorporate literacy assessments into population surveys to accurately estimate literacy's prevalence and health benefits, particularly in contexts like Malawi where access to high-quality schools remains limited.
    Social Science & Medicine 07/2014; 127. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.036 · 2.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "It is estimated that globally about 342 900 maternal deaths occur each year [2]. There has been no substantial change in maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa over the past ten years and therefore progress towards improving child deaths has remained slow in this region [3]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Despite focused health policies and reform agenda, Kenya has challenges in improving households' situation in poverty and ill health; interventions to address the Millennium Development Goals in maternal and child health, such as focused antenatal care and immunization of children, are yet to achieve success. Research has shown that addressing the demand side is critical in improving health outcomes. This paper presents a model for health systems performance improvement using a strategy that bridges the interface between the community and the health system. Methods: The study employed quasi-experimental design, using pre- and post-intervention surveys in intervention and control sites. The intervention was the implementation of all components of the Kenyan Community Health Strategy, guided by policy. The two year intervention (2011 and 2012) saw the strategy introduced to selected district health management teams, service providers, and communities through a series of three-day training workshops that were held three times during the intervention period. Results: A number of health indicators, such as health facility delivery, antenatal care, water treatment, latrine use, and insecticide treated nets, improved in the intervention sites compared to non-interventions sites. The difference between intervention and control sites was statistically significant (p<0.0001) for antenatal care, health facility delivery, water treatment, latrine use, use of insecticide treated nets, presence of clinic card, and measles vaccination. Degree of improvement across the various indicators measured differed by socio-demographic contexts. The changes were greatest in the rural agrarian sites, compared to peri-urban and nomadic sites. Conclusion: The study showed that most of the components of the strategy were implemented and sustained in different socio-demographic contexts, while participatory community planning based on household information drives improvement of health indicators.
    BMC Health Services Research 05/2014; 14(Suppl 1). DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-S1-S3 · 1.71 Impact Factor
Show more