Sharing best practices in scaling up interventions for reducing maternal and newborn mortality
Abstract1. The WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and World Bank maternal mortality estimates for 2005 revealed that more than half of the maternal deaths worldwide (270 000 out of 536 000) occur in sub-Saharan Africa. In the same region, newborn mortality is the highest in the world, estimated at 45 deaths per 1000 live births. The decline of maternal mortality between 1990 and 2005 in sub-Saharan Africa was only 0.1% per year. In order to contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality towards achieving Millennium Development Goal number 5 there is need for a decrease of at least 5.5% per year. 2. The main issues and challenges related to these high levels of maternal and newborn mortality include weak health systems, poor community participation and inadequate allocation of resources for maternal and newborn health. 3. To address this situation, African countries have developed national Road Maps or plans for accelerating the attainment of MDGs related to maternal and newborn health focused on increasing availability and access to skilled birth attendance and improving community participation. In addition, WHO supports countries in their efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to increase the low contraceptive prevalence rates through repositioning family planning in reproductive health programmes.
Regional Committee for Africa, 58. (2011). Sharing best practices in scaling up interventions for reducing maternal and newborn mortality. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1780