NEARLY 60 PER CENT OF BIRTHS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD ARE ATTENDED BY SKILLED HEALTH PERSONNEL
Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia lag behind other regions
Percentage of births attended by skilled health personnel, by region (2000-2006) P>
Skilled attendance at delivery is critical to reducing maternal deaths, and since 1995 every region of the developing world has made progress in increasing coverage. Overall, nearly 60 per cent of births in the developing world are attended by skilled health personnel (doctor, nurse or midwife). The lowest proportion of skilled birth attendance is found in sub-Saharan Africa (43 per cent) and South Asia (41 per cent), which are also the two regions with the greatest number of maternal deaths.
The antenatal period is an important time for reaching pregnant women with a number of interventions essential to their health and well-being and that of their infants. Every region made progress in coverage of antenatal care for women at least once during pregnancy. In the developing world as a whole, the proportion of women receiving antenatal care increased from 60 per cent in around 1995 to 75 per cent in around 2005. Many of these women, however, attend fewer than the four antenatal care visits recommended by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
While contraceptive prevalence among women who are married or living in union is relatively high (61 per cent) across the developing world, sub-Saharan Africa lags far behind, with only 23 per cent of married women using any form of contraception.
ALL DEVELOPING REGIONS HAVE INCREASED COVERAGE OF SKILLED DELIVERY ATTENDANCE DURING THE PAST DECADE
Trends in the percentage of births attended by skilled health personnel, by region, based on a subset of 80 countries with trend data (around 1995 and around 2005)
THREE QUARTERS OF WOMEN IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD ATTENDED BY A SKILLED HEALTH PROVIDER AT LEAST ONCE DURING PREGNANCY
Percentage of women aged 15-49 attended at least once during pregnancy by a skilled health provider, by region (2000-2006)
ALL DEVELOPING REGIONS HAVE INCREASED COVERAGE OF ANTENATAL CARE DURING THE PAST DECADE
Trends in the percentage of women aged 15-49 attended at least once during pregnancy by a skilled health provider, by region, based on a subset of 67 countries with trend data (around 1995 and around 2005)
CONTRACEPTIVE USE IS LOWEST IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Less than one quarter of African women plan their pregnancies
Percentage of women aged 15-49 married or in union using any method of contraception, by region (2000-2006)