The Effect of Fertility Reduction on Global Maternal Mortality Reduction: 1990-2011

Saifuddin Ahmed, Johns Hopkins University
Amy Tsui, Johns Hopkins University

Background: Significant progress has been made in reducing global maternal mortality by almost 50% from 546,000 in 1990 to 287,000 in 2010. We examine the effect of the fertility reduction between 1990 and 2011 on maternal mortality reduction. Method: This is an extension of our recent work published in the Lancet which examined the effect of family planning on maternal mortality reduction. Using an innovative, simple formula we have decomposed the effect of fertility reduction and improvement in maternity care on maternal mortality reduction between 1990 and 2011 for 176 countries. Results: We estimate that 45.1% reduction in global maternal deaths between 1990 and 2011 is attributable to fertility reduction. The country level estimates show the GFR reduction effect on maternal mortality was most pronounced in South Asian countries and least in Sub-Saharan African countries. Conclusion: Fertility reduction played a major role in the global maternal deaths reduction.

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Presented in Session 81: Contraceptive Use