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Reducing Maternal Mortality : Learning from Bolivia, China, Egypt, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003-04) Koblinsky, Marjorie A. ; Koblinsky, Marjorie A.Of the 515,000 maternal deaths that occur every year worldwide, 99 percent take place in developing countries. Women In the developing world have a 1 in 48 chance of dying from pregnancy-related causes; the ratio in industrial countries is 1 in 1,800. Of all the human development indicators, the greatest discrepancy between industrial, and developing countries is in maternal health. The stimulus for this study was the question - Can current program strategies reduce maternal mortality faster that the decades required in the historically successful countries of Malaysia, and Sri Lanka? The answer was no. Based on case studies in seven selected countries, the study stipulates the factor common to all reviewed programs, is the high availability of a provider who is, either a skilled birth attendant, or closely connected with a capable referral system. A second common factor is the high availability of facilities that can provide basic, and essential obstetric care. But, unlike historic successes however, strong government policy now focuses explicitly on safe motherhood, and sets the tone for programs in most of the selected countries. Another difference between the case studies selected, and that in historically successful countries, is the financing of services: while service were free to families in Malaysia and Sri Lanka, costs of safe motherhood services are now substantial, and a major deterrent to use.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-06) Aoyama, AoyamaThis reproductive health review of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region provides an overview of the issues and establishes a base of knowledge upon which a strategy could be constructed. Despite achievements in the population and health sectors during the last decades, several reproductive health issues remain, while new challenges have emerged. Major reproductive health issues in the region include high maternal mortality, particularly in Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, and Iraq; high fertility and slowing fertility decline; early marriage and high teenage fertility; the increasing prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS; and female genital cutting in Egypt and Yemen. There is a correlation between reproductive health issues, a country's level of social development, and the size of gaps within a country; between men and women, urban and rural, rich and poor. Therefore, it is necessary to plan and implement programs targeted to specific issues and underprivileged groups; develop effective and sustainable health systems with high-quality services; raise awareness and change behaviors of both the public and policymakers; and empower women. Strong political commitment is essential to overcoming social and cultural constraints. Possible intervention components and possible roles of the World Bank are suggested.