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Maternal mortality and fertility in Myanmar: State of the art

Myint Myint Wai, Espen Bjertness, Thein Thein Htay, Tippawan Liabsuetrakul, Johanne Sundby

Abstract

Many women in developing countries are dying from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. These maternal deaths are attributed to the poor coverage of reproductive health services and high fertility levels. A holistic review of the reproductive health is necessary to reflect the country’s situation and progress of reproductive health and provide recommendations for areas that need an improvement. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the historic development of maternal mortality and fertility in Myanmar during the past 25 years, focusing on the antenatal care (ANC) coverage, deliveries attended by skilled persons, and contraceptive use. All published nationally representative data were compiled, and trend analysis was performed. The maternal mortality ratio declined significantly by 9.1 (95%CI: 4.0-14.1) maternal deaths per 100,000 live births/year between 1990 and 2015, but it failed to achieve the target of Millennium Development Goals 5. There was no significant improvement in ANC coverage and care during delivery. Contraceptive use increased significantly, leading to a reduction in the total fertility rate. Nevertheless, overall reproductive health failed to reach a satisfactory level. Maternal mortality still remains high. Thus, there is a need to improve service coverage and more so in the regions with poor performance to reduce the high maternal mortality.

Keywords

Maternal mortality ratio; Total fertility rate; Reproductive health services; Millennium Development Goals; Myanmar; Antenatal care; Skilled birth attendants

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ijps.v5i1.1029
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