Author(s): Mbizvo MT, Say L
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Abstract Reducing maternal mortality within significant margins is a global imperative that reflects attainment of development goals. Progress in reducing maternal mortality, in particular among countries with notably high maternal mortality ratios (MMRs), has been substantially slower than the Millennium Development Goal target of an annual rate of 5.5\% decline. The latest UN maternal mortality estimates show a reduction in MMR in a number of countries between 1990 and 2008. Understanding the factors associated with progress in countries that have reduced maternal mortality provides other countries and development partners with opportunities to consider and implement policies and interventions that could help accelerate progress. This paper reviews 6 countries that have demonstrated marked progress. The policies that have been effective include innovative financing measures; investment in human resources both in terms of strengthening pre-service education and emphasizing in-service training for healthcare providers; strengthening obstetric care by enhancing infrastructure and upgrading equipment, as well as improving quality of services; and investing in the broader determinants of maternal mortality, particularly family planning and women's education and socioeconomic empowerment. This range of actions, which includes a combination of facility and community-based approaches, provides a list of potentially effective strategies that could be considered when developing programs in other countries with slower progress. Strong political will and multistakeholder involvement and interventions are key in the development and implementation of these policies and actions. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Int J Gynaecol Obstet
and referenced in Journal of Womens Health Care