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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2007 Sep;98(3):285-90. Epub 2007 Jul 6.

Declining maternal mortality ratio in Uganda: priority interventions to achieve the Millennium Development Goal.

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  • 1Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda. vpadmn@infocom.co.ug



We conducted a survey to determine availability of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) and to provide data for advocating for improved maternal and newborn health in Uganda.


The survey, covering 54 districts and 553 health facilities, assessed availability of EmOC signal functions, documented maternal deaths and the related causes. Three levels of health facilities were covered.


Few health units had running water; electricity or a functional operating theater. Yet having these items had a protective effect on maternal deaths as follows: theater (OR 0.56, P<0.0001); electricity (OR 0.39, P<0.0001); laboratory (OR 0.71, P<0.0001) and staffing levels (midwives) OR 0.20, P<0.0001. The availability of midwives had the highest protective effect on maternal deaths, reducing the case fatality rate by 80%. Further, most (97.2%) health facilities expected to offer basic EmOC, were not doing so. This is the likely explanation for the high health facility-based maternal death rate of 671/100,000 live births in Uganda.


Addressing health system issues, especially human resources, and increasingaccess to EmOC could reduce maternal mortality in Uganda and enable the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

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