5. Improve Maternal Health

Targets:

  1. Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
  2. Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health

 

National Status and Perspectives

The current maternal mortality rate of 960 deaths per 100,000 live births is significantly higher than the rate of 612 deaths per 100,000 live births recorded for 2005–2006. Maternal health-related issues are responsible for the death of 12% of women aged 15-49 as of 2010–2011. There has been a decrease in the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel, especially in rural areas.

Major challenges remain, including unaffordable maternity fees, reduced attendance of expectant mothers at antenatal clinics due to associated costs or distances to clinics and the inability of some women to make choices on reproductive health issues due to social or cultural pressures.

It is hoped that this situation will be greatly improved by 2015, given that the Government of Zimbabwe, the United Nations and the donor community have assembled a health transition fund, Maternity Waiting Home Programme, Integrated Support Programme to address HIV and Reproductive Health Rights as well as the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis. These programmes aim at improving the maternal, new-born and child health and nutrition through increasing the availability of medical products, vaccines and technologies; increasing human resources for health; and improving health policy, planning and financing.