OBJECTIVES: Assessing the burden of maternal mortality is important for tracking progress and identifying public health gaps. This paper provides an overview of the burden of maternal mortality in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) by underlying cause and age from 1990 to 2015.
METHODS: We used the results of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study to explore maternal mortality in the EMR countries.
RESULTS: The maternal mortality ratio in the EMR decreased 16.3% from 283 (241-328) maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 237 (188-293) in 2015. Maternal mortality ratio was strongly correlated with socio-demographic status, where the lowest-income countries contributed the most to the burden of maternal mortality in the region.
CONCLUSION: Progress in reducing maternal mortality in the EMR has accelerated in the past 15 years, but the burden remains high. Coordinated and rigorous efforts are needed to make sure that adequate and timely services and interventions are available for women at each stage of reproductive life.