Maputo — Maternal mortality rates have not made much improvement in Mozambique since 2003, according to the 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (IDS).
This showed that the maternal mortality rate is 408 deaths per 100,000 live births.
The indicator was revealed by the National Director of Public Health, Fernando Mbofana, at the opening of a health meeting in Maputo on Wednesday. The meeting will evaluate progress and agree on strategic actions to strengthen surveillance and the response to maternal and neonatal mortality.
The latest figures showed that each year about 3,840 women die during pregnancy and childbirth due to complications such as obstetric haemorrhage, sepsis and eclampsia.
The survey also noted that progress had been made between 1990 and 2003, when the rate dropped from 1,000 to 408 deaths per 100,000.
According to Mbofana, health indicators are crucial for measuring the impact and effectiveness of interventions. He added, through the collection and analysis of data, factors that contribute to maternal and neonatal deaths can be identified and measures taken to improve decision making and cover gaps in the service.
The IDS showed that maternal death remains a serious problem in the rural areas, where 45 per cent of births take place outside of the health care system.
Mbofana stated that “the response of the government is to improve and expand the health network, placing maternity units in places were there is a large concentration of people”. Mbofana said that the health network covers sixty per cent of the country.
The three day meeting is entitled “Together in efforts to accelerate the reduction of maternal, neonatal and perinatal mortality”. It brings together staff from throughout the country to discuss progress, constraints and challenges.