Success Factors: Ten countries spotlighted for reducing mortality rates

30 JUNE | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Introduction

The Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health report released today at the Partners’ Forum in Johannesburg shows that despite political and economic challenges, rapid reductions of maternal and child mortality and dramatic improvements in reproductive health and rights are possible.

The report highlights 10 countries that mobilized action across society, using data to drive decisions to address their unique circumstances. As a result, in the 10 “fast-track” countries, there were 2.4 million fewer child deaths and over 70,000 fewer maternal deaths by 2013 when compared to 1990 mortality rates.

The 10 fast-track countries highlighted in the report are set to meet Millennium Development Goals 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health). Ministries of health in these 10 countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda and Vietnam – convened multistakeholder meetings to review and document each country’s progress.

While the mix of strategies and investments used to address high maternal and child mortality rates differed to meet local context and priorities, fast-track countries shared some successful approaches. They invested in high-impact health interventions such as quality care at birth, immunization and family planning. They also made progress across multiple health-enhancing sectors such as prioritizing education, women’s political and economic participation and access to clean water and sanitation. Economic development and good governance – including political commitment and control of corruption – underpinned progress overall.

Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health is a collaboration of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), the World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research.

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