Human resources for maternal health: multi-purpose or specialists?

Peer reviewed article

Vincent Fauveau, Della R Sherratt, Luc de Bernis

Publication details

Number of pages: 15
Publication date: 2008
Languages: English


This paper reviews the current human resource situation for the provision of maternal health services to meet the MDG5 goal. The paper also discusses whether countries should give priority to producing large numbers of multi-purpose community health workers with inadequate training, capacity, support, authority, or whether they should support the option of giving priority to quality of care rather than coverage, offering an adequate number of skilled professionals, strongly supported by a well performing system.

The paper suggests that no significant progress in maternal mortality reduction can be achieved without a strong political decision to empower midwives and others with midwifery skills, and a substantial strengthening of health systems with a focus on quality of care rather than on numbers was required to give them the means to respond to the challenge.