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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

AUB: Researchers Publish First Study on Maternal Mortality Trends in Lebanon

Maternal mortality continues to be a major health problem worldwide with unacceptably high numbers of preventable cases (303 000 maternal deaths reported in 2015). Risks during pregnancy vary among communities, countries, and regions. The risks are 15 times higher in low‐income than in high‐income countries due to poor resources and weak dysfunctional health services; as a result, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR), a health indicator of development and quality of life, shows the largest disparities between wealthy and impoverished countries. In this context and with the aim of exploring this issue in Lebanon, a group of researchers form the American University of Beirut (AUB) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), Graduate Public Health Program, AUB Faculty of Medicine (FM), and the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon conducted the first paper on maternal mortality trends in Lebanon in 2010-2018.

Lebanon invested in the prevention of maternal mortality after the civil war, which left a deficient vital registration system leading to unreliable estimates of maternal mortality ratio (MMR). Starting in 2004, the Ministry of Public Health integrated reproductive health into primary​ health care and established a national notification system of maternal and neonatal deaths. From 1990 to 2013, Lebanon achieved an annual change in MMR of -7.5percent, which was the highest rate of reduction in the region and met the requirements of Millennium Development Goal 5. For the period 2010-2018, data collected through the national notification system indicate an MMR of 14.9, which is below the officially reported MMR of 23.

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