A major milestone for the national programme has been the formulation and approval in 2001 of the National Strategy for Maternal Health, a comprehensive work plan to ensure safe motherhood for all women throughout the country. The Programme Implementation Plan of the Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Programme (HNPSP) has also reflected the priorities of the National Strategy.
The Gender Equity Strategy has been developed to provide overall direction to gender mainstreaming in the HNPSP. The Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) has recognized the need to address the impact of poverty on health and emphasized the issue of maternal mortality and violence against women.
In comparison with the baseline of the project, the situation of UN Process Indicators shows considerable progress. The need has doubled; births in emergency obstructive care(EmOC) facilities increased by 63 per cent; the number of complications treated in facilities increased by 135 per cent; and the number of caesarean sections increased by 70 per cent.
Lifesaving technology for women with obstetric complications has been established in rural health centres without relying on specialists. A strong policy commitment from the government and demonstrated rigour in tracking progress and taking action has ensured synchronization of the various inputs required for establishing functioning centres.