6 Improve maternal health

Where are we?

Azerbaijan shows a positive trend in reducing maternal mortality level. According to the World Bank data, the 2008 maternal mortality rate in Azerbaijan has reduced by close to half - from 65 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 43 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010. A joint UN/World Bank study shows annual decline of 2.9% in maternal mortality rate between 1990 and 2008 which is indicative of the moderate progress Azerbaijan has made in relation to the achievement of MDG 5.

Among the main factors is an improved access to prenatal care and to child delivery facilities staffed by qualified personnel and supplied with necessary equipment. According to the latest Demographic and Health Survey, majority of births (89%) are delivered under supervision of a trained medical professional and occurred at health facilities (78%). While this represents an improvement, it is still below the average level for upper middle-income countries (97%).

Another aspect to monitor is regional disparities – in some parts of the country, the proportion of home deliveries may be as high as 40 per cent.

The Government continues its efforts to expand the scope and improve quality of reproductive health services in the framework of National Strategy on the Protection of Reproduction Health of Population. It also plans to initiate a new programme on Mother and Child Care, with an emphasis on prevention measures.

Trends in maternal mortality

Bar Chart
Targets for MDG 5
  1. Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
    • Most maternal deaths could be avoided
    • Giving birth is especially risky in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where most women deliver without skilled care
    • The rural-urban gap in skilled care during childbirth has narrowed
  2. Achieve universal access to reproductive health & inadequate funding for family planning is a major failure in fulfilling commitments to improving women’s reproductive health
    • More women are receiving antenatal care
    • Inequalities in care during pregnancy are striking
    • Only one in three rural women in developing regions receive the recommended care during pregnancy
    • Progress has stalled in reducing the number of teenage pregnancies, putting more young mothers at risk
    • Poverty and lack of education perpetuate high adolescent birth rates
    • Progress in expanding the use of contraceptives by women has slowed & use of contraception is lowest among the poorest women and those with no education