Publication: Maternal and Child Mortality Development Goals : What Can the Transport Sector Do?

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Babinard, Julie
Roberts, Peter
The reduction of child mortality and the improvement of maternal health are two of the Millennium Development Goals. Child and maternal mortalities continue to represent severe burdens in many developing countries. Every year, 527,000 women in developing countries die of pregnancy-related complications and nearly 4 million children die during their first month (accounting for 40 percent of all deaths under 5 years of age) with nearly all (98 percent) of them in developing countries. The risks of dying from pregnancy-related complications and a child dying under the age of five are highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The risk of a mother or an infant dying can be significantly reduced by a continuum of basic care, which should include preventive measures and a skilled attendant during childbirth with access to the necessary equipment, drugs, and other supplies for effective management of any pregnancy-related complications. Yet, many women spend excessive time trying to reach a health facility with the capacity to treat obstetric or infant complications. It is estimated that 75 percent of maternal deaths might be prevented through timely access to essential emergency childbirth-related care. This paper focuses on the ways in which transport and road infrastructure play key roles in the overall delivery of and access to health services, and in the effectiveness of the health referral process. Many households do not have the reliable, suitable, and affordable transport services that are essential for access to care during the critical peri-natal and neonatal periods. Emergency access to care is also critical because many childbirth-related complications are unpredictable and the majority of births in developing countries continue to take place at home.
Babinard, Julie; Roberts, Peter. 2006. Maternal and Child Mortality Development Goals : What Can the Transport Sector Do?. Transport papers;no.TP-12. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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