Sexual and reproductive health

Proportion of birth attended by a skilled health worker

2008 updates

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Proportion of births attended by a

Publication details

Number of pages: 16
Publication date: 2008
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/08.22


It is recognized that in addition to a range of interventions before, during and after pregnancy, ensuring that all births are attended by a skilled health worker is a key strategy to reduce maternal deaths. On the basis of historical and observational evidence on the association between having a skilled health worker at delivery and reduced maternal mortality (Graham et al., 2001), the proportion of births attended by a skilled health worker, was selected as a proxy measure to monitor the progress towards the MDG 5 target of reducing maternal mortality.

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