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J Pak Med Assoc. 2014; 64(6): 690-693

Issues of maternal health in Pakistan: trends towards millennium development goal 5

Muhammd Faraz Arshad Malik, Mahmood Akhtar Kayani.


Pakistan has third highest burden of maternal and
children mortality across the globe. This grim situation is
further intensified by flaws of planning and
implementation set forth in health sector. Natural
calamities (earth quakes, floods), disease outbreaks and
lack of awareness in different regions of country also
further aggravate this situation. Despite of all these
limitations, under the banner of Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) a special focus and progress
in addressing maternal health issue (set as goal 5) has
been made over the last decade. In this review,
improvement and short falls pertaining to Goal 5
Improve maternal health have been analyzed in relation
to earlier years. A decline in maternal mortality ratio
(MMR) (490 maternal deaths in 1990 to 260 maternal
deaths per 100,000 women in 2010) is observed.
Reduction in MMR by three quarters was not achieved
but a decline from very high mortality to high mortality
index was observed. Increase usage of contraceptives
(with contraceptive prevalence rate of 11.8 in 1990 to 37
in 2013) also shed light on women awareness about their
health and social issues. Based on progress level
assessment (WHO guidelines),access of Pakistani women
to universal reproductive health unit falls in moderate
category in 2010 as compared to earlier low access in
1990. From the data it looks that still a lot of effort is
required for achieving the said targets. However, keeping
in view all challenges, Pakistan suffered in the said
duration, like volatile peace, regional political instability,
policy implementation constrains, population growth,
this slow but progressive trend highlight a national
resilience to address the havoc challenge of maternal
health.These understandings and sustained efforts will
significantly contribute a best possible accomplishment
in Millennium Development Goal 5 by 2015.

Key words: Maternal health, Indicators, Improvements, World Health Organization.

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