6 Improve maternal health

Where we are?

MDG 5 Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has made progress in improving maternal health and maternal mortality is declining.

Target 6. To reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. By 2015, to achieve universal access to reproductive health.

The relevance of MDG 5 in Kazakhstan has to do with the fact that maternal health indicators in the country are still quite low and the maternal mortality ratio is several times as high as that in the WHO European Region. To achieve MDG 5, Kazakhstan needs to reduce its maternal mortality ratio (MMR) from 55 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 14 in 2015. Is this achievable? During the next five years MMR needs to be almost halved compared to the current indicator. Over the 19 years since 1990, MMR has been reduced by less than 2 times. It is clear that as the MMR is being reduced, each subsequent reduction will be most probably more difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, progress achieved in recent years in decreasing maternal mortality in Kazakhstan, inspires cautious optimism. Achievement of MDG 5 in Kazakhstan will depend on how fast the legislation will change, how successful healthcare institutional reforms will be, and how efficiently maternal mortality reduction programmes will be managed and financed. Achievement of MDG 5 requires a strengthened multi-sectoral approach to addressing maternal health improvement, for which purpose the education sector, healthcare, mass media and non-governmental sector need to join and coordinate their efforts to achieve a substantial improvement in awareness of the population, primarily youths, about the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV/AIDS. MDG 5 can only be achieved if investment into sexual and reproductive health is increased, with available resources to be allocated in a way to ensure maximum benefits to a maximum number of people.

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