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6 Improve maternal health
Where we are?
Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR): The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in PNG is one of the highest in the world. In 1994 (estimated by DHS 2006), it was 733 per 100,000 live births.
Births attended by skilled health personnel:In 2006, only 51.8% of births were attended by skilled health personnel. This means that nearly half of the deliveries are not attended by skilled health personnel.
Proportion (%) of pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic (ANC):The proportion (%) of pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic (ANC) was 79.3% in 2006. This proportion needs to be increased to 100% to improve maternal health.
Table below shows the projected progress between 1990 and 2015 on maternal health. The table shows that maternal mortality ratio is expected to fall to 703 per 100,000 live births by 2015, while the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel and percent of pregnant women attending ANC are not expected to change much.
Table: Progress made between 1990 and 2010 towards achieving the nationalTargets for MDG 5
Most recent measure
Projected (no change)
National MTDS Target 2015
Maternal Mortality Ratio (per 100,000 live births)
% of births attended by skilled health personnel
% of pregnant women attending ANCs
Total Fertility Rate (TFR):The TFR slightly decreased in PNG from 4.6 in 2000 to 4.4 in 2006. However, this rate is much higher than the TFR in several developing countries of the Asia and the Pacific region.
Adolescent birth rate: Adolescent fertility refers to births given by women under the age of 20. In 2006, 10.4% percent of women aged 15-19 had already become mothers and 2.5% were pregnant. Teenage pregnancy needs to be eliminated to improve the health of the mother.
Contraceptive prevalence rate: In 2006, 17.9% percent of all women and 24.3% of currently married women used any modern method of family planning. During the same year 19% of all men and 25.5% of currently married men used such method.
Unmet need for family planning: Unmet need for family planning exists in PNG. In 2006, the proportion of currently married women and men, who had unmet need for family planning was 27.4% and 19.8%, respectively.
The 8 Millennium Development Goals
- 1 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
- 2 Achieve universal primary education
- 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
- 4 Reduce child mortality
- 5 Improve maternal health
- 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
- 8 Develop a global partnership for development
Targets for MDG 5
- 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
- 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