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Salud Publica Mex. 2013;55 Suppl 2:S214-24.

[Coverage for birth care in Mexico and its interpretation within the context of maternal mortality].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.
IPAS, México, DF, México.
Unidad de Gestión del Proyecto Fondo Mundial, fundación Mexicana para la Salud AC, México, DF, México.
Universidad de Washington, Seattle, EUA.
Centro Nacional de Equidad de Género y Salud Reproductiva, Secretaría de Salud, México, DF, México.



To evaluate health coverage for birth care in Mexico within the frame of maternal mortality reduction.


Two information sources were used: 1) The comparison between the results yield by the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Surveys 2006 and 2012 (ENSANUT 2006 and 2012), and 2) the databases monitoring maternal deaths during 2012 (up to December 26), and live births (LB) in Mexico as estimated by the Mexican National Population Council (Conapo).


The national coverage for birth care by medical units is nearly 94.4% at the national level, but in some federal entities such as Chiapas (60.5%), Nayarit (87.8%), Guerrero (91.2%), Durango (92.5%), Oaxaca (92.6%), and Puebla (93.4%), coverage remains below the national average. In women belonging to any social security system (eg. IMSS, IMSS Oportunidades, ISSSTE), coverage is almost 99%, whereas in those affiliated to the Mexican Popular Health Insurance (which depends directly from the Federal Ministry of Health), coverage reached 92.9%. In terms of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), there are still large disparities among federal states in Mexico, with a national average of 47.0 per 100 000 LB (preliminary data for 2012, up to December 26). The MMR estimation has been updated using the most recent population projections.


There is no correlation between the level of institutional birth care and the MMR in Mexico. It is thus necessary not only to guarantee universal birth care by health professionals, but also to provide obstetric care by qualified personnel in functional health services networks, to strengthen the quality of obstetric care, family planning programs, and to promote the implementation of new and innovative health policies that include intersectoral actions and human rights-based approaches targeted to reduce the enormous social inequity still prevailing in Mexico.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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