6 Improve maternal health

Where we are?

Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) has not been improved since 1997, as the rate has increase from 351 per 100,000 live births in 1997 to 366 per 100,000 live births in 2008. With this pace of trend, Yemen would not be able to meet the target of 87.8 per 100,000 live births by 2015. Safe motherhood depends on the delivery by trained qualified medical personnel, which has slowly improved form 16% in 1990 to 36% in 2006 and only 24% of delivery was carried out under the health facilities.

The current pace does not allow Yemen to attain this goal by 2015. The lack of progress as indicated in a recent Oxfam study indicates that more than half of Yemeni women get married before they are 18, and that the average age is just 14 years old. Getting married at a young age is one of the main causes of high maternal mortality in Yemen - about eight women die every day during childbirth and for every 100,000 live births, 366 women die. Around 19% of maternal deaths occur in women aged 15-19. Yemen has one of the highest birth rates in the world - the average Yemeni woman has seven children.

Yemen Status

Line 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