Maternity Care Monitoring: A New Information System

  • E. Kessel


We are living in an age of dramatic changes in the need for and provision of maternity care. It is estimated that there were 130 million births in the world in 1980. By the year 2000, the number will reach 163 million. The increasing proportion of these births in developing countries can be seen in Figure 1. As developed countries approach stationary populations and near irreducible levels of maternal and perinatal mortality, it is clear that the challenge to maternity care lies primarily in these developing countries, where over 85 percent of births and over 95 percent of maternal and perinatal mortality will occur by the year 2000. The contrasts in extreme levels of national maternal and child mortality rates of developed and developing countries are shown in Table 1. The projected totals of these tragic losses in developing countries for the last two decades of this century are staggering: one million maternal and 40 million perinatal deaths will occur, of which, by Western standards, 95 percent are preventable. These losses, in terms of contribution to shorter life expectancy, surpass deaths resulting from any specific disease category, such as all infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancers or accidents.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Kessel
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Triangle ParkInternational Fertility Research ProgramUSA

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