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CORU projections of skilled birth attendance rates in world's poorest regions published
27 January 2012
Sonya Crowe, Christina Pagel and Martin Utley have been working with Anthony Costello, director of the UCL Insitute of Global Health, to assess the extent to which women in two of the world's poorest regions (South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa) will continue to give birth without a skilled birth attendant (SBA).
Skilled birth attendance is seen as key to reducing the global burden of maternal mortality, and the 5th Millennium Development Goal includes a target for “90% of births in low and middle income countries to have a skilled birth attendant by 2015”. This target will not be met and health policy has focused on increasing SBA access for women. However, the scale of the number of women likely to give birth without an SBA suggests that reducing maternal mortality also requires policies to prevent deaths among women giving birth unattended.
Our projections, which are made at a country level (and by rural/urban areas) could be used by decision makers to inform the extent to which reductions in maternal mortality will depend on policies aimed specifically at those women giving birth unattended. The paper describing this work has just been published in the open-access journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.