Maternal Mortality Ratio
What does it mean ?
The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is the rate at which women die from maternal causes (any cause related to pregnancy, during childbirth, pregnancy or within 42 days of childbirth). It is measured as the number of maternal deaths per every 100,000 live births. A live birth refers to any baby that is born that shows signs of life outside of the womb. A maternal death refers to the death of woman while she is pregnant or within 42 days of childbirth, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management. Maternal deaths exclude accidental or other non-related causes of death. The MMR represents the risk associated with each pregnancy and birth.
Why does it matter ?
Problems during pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death and disability of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in low income countries. This indicator acts as a record of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth and reflects the ability of a country's healthcare system to provide safe care during pregnancy and childbirth. The Maternal Mortality Ratio is an indicator for monitoring Sustainable Development Goal 3 Health and Wellbeing Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
How is it collected ?
In high income countries the data for MMR are from nationally registered deaths to women, with maternal death as the cause, then dividing by the number of registered live births. If birth and death registration is incomplete other methods are used such as a special survey or population censuses. Where there are no data, an estimate is generated from three factors: GDP, fertility rate and births attended by a skilled attendant.
WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and World Bank (2015).
Trends in Maternal mortality 1990-2015. http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/maternal-mortality-2015/en/