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3.1.1 Maternal Mortality Ratio

Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Custodian Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Tier Classification: Tier I

To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:

Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.

Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division

Definition: The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births during the same time period. It depicts the risk of maternal death relative to the number of live births and essentially captures the risk of death in a single pregnancy or a single live birth.

Maternal deaths: The annual number of female deaths from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes) during pregnancy and childbirth or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, expressed per 100,000 live births, for a specified time period.

Concepts: Definitions related to maternal death in ICD-10

Maternal death: The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management (from direct or indirect obstetric death), but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Pregnancy-related death: The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the cause of death.

Late maternal death: The death of a woman from direct or indirect obstetric causes, more than 42 days, but less than one year after termination of pregnancy

Rationale: All maternal mortality indicators derived from the 2015 estimation round include a point-estimate and an 80% uncertainty interval (UI). For those indicators where only point-estimates are reported in the text or tables, UIs can be obtained from supplementary material online. Both point-estimates and 80% UIs should be taken into account when assessing estimates.

For example: The estimated 2015 global MMR is 216 (UI 207 to 249)

This means:

  • The point-estimate is 216 and the 80% uncertainty interval ranges 207 to 249.
  • There is a 50% chance that the true 2015 global MMR lies above 216, and a 50% chance that the true value lies below 216.
  • There is an 80% chance that the true 2015 global MMR lies between 207 and 249.
  • There is still a 10% chance that the true 2015 global MMR lies above 249, and a 10% chance that the true value lies below 207.

Other accurate interpretations include:

  • We are 90% certain that the true 2015 global MMR is at least 207.
  • We are 90% certain that the true 2015 global MMR is 249 or less.

The amount of data available for estimating an indicator and the quality of that data determine the width of an indicator’s UI. As data availability and quality improve, the certainty increases that an indicator’s true value lies close to the point-estimate.

Limitations: The extent of maternal mortality in a population is essentially the combination of two factors:

  1. The risk of death in a single pregnancy or a single live birth.
  2. The fertility level (i.e. the number of pregnancies or births that are experienced by women of reproductive age).

The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100 000 live births during the same time period. It depicts the risk of maternal death relative to the number of live births and essentially captures (i) above.

By contrast, the maternal mortality rate (MMRate) is calculated as the number of maternal deaths divided by person-years lived by women of reproductive age. The MMRate captures both the risk of maternal death per pregnancy or per total birth (live birth or stillbirth), and the level of fertility in the population. In addition to the MMR and the MMRate, it is possible to calculate the adult lifetime risk of maternal mortality for women in the population (see Box A2.2). An alternative measure of maternal mortality, the proportion of deaths among women of reproductive age that are due to maternal causes (PM), is calculated as the number of maternal deaths divided by the total deaths among women aged 15– 49 years.

Related Statistical measures of maternal mortality:

Maternal mortality ratio (MMR): Number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births during the same time period.

Maternal mortality rate (MMRate): Number of maternal deaths divided by person-years lived by women of reproductive age.

Adult lifetime risk of maternal death: The probability that a 15-year-old woman will die eventually from a maternal cause.

The proportion of deaths among women of reproductive age that are due to maternal causes (PM): The number of maternal deaths in a given time period divided by the total deaths among women aged 15–49 years.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division

Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data from the UN Statistics Division is compiled by the respective custodian for the SDG indicator, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.

Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.

 
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3.1.1 Maternal Mortality Ratio Sustainable Development Goals

3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.

Related 3.1.1 Maternal Mortality RatioTargets

3.1

By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births