Skilled birth attendance-lessons learnt

BJOG. 2009 Oct;116 Suppl 1:33-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02336.x.


To reduce the horrific maternal mortality figures that we have globally especially in resource poor countries, there was a global commitment to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015 using 1990 as a baseline. To measure the achievement of this goal, two indicators: maternal mortality ratio and proportion of births attended by skilled attendance were selected. To ensure skilled attendance at birth for all women, the international community set a target of 80% by 2005, 85% by 2010 and 90% coverage by 2015. However, in 2008 only 65.7% of all women were attended to by a skilled attendant during pregnancy, childbirth and immediately postpartum globally with some countries having less than 20% coverage. With the global human resource crisis, achieving this target is challenging but possible. This paper provides a narrative review of the literature on the skilled birth attendance strategy identifying key challenges and lessons learnt.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Delivery, Obstetric* / education
  • Delivery, Obstetric* / statistics & numerical data
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Maternal Health Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Maternal Health Services* / supply & distribution
  • Maternal Mortality / trends
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / prevention & control*
  • Postnatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Postnatal Care / trends
  • Pregnancy