2015 signifies the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which include reduction of the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds, reduction of the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters (both relative to the 1990 figures), and universal access to reproductive health. This issue of the SACEMA Quarterly focuses on various aspects of maternal and child health, and the role of statistical and mathematical modelling techniques in this area of research.
To examine the geographic distribution of the prevalence of modern contraceptive use across the provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo a study was conducted using data from the Demographic Health Survey 2007. In addition we investigated the association between modern contraceptive use, birth intervals and associated risk factors among Congolese women in general and young women in particular. The results show that the use of modern contraceptives is dependent on the province of residence, location of residence, household economic status, level of education and age. The study found that there is evidence for distinct geographic patterns in the use of modern contraceptive in young women and the whole sample of women in the DRC.
Worldwide there are over 2 million third-trimester stillbirths. The lack of attention given to stillbirths may be attributed to the view that stillbirths are not preventable. There is, however, reason to believe that initiating antenatal care (ANC) early may help to prevent stillbirths in term pregnancies by preventing labour complications through early referral to skilled birth attendants, and/or by detecting and managing maternal chronic conditions and infectious diseases. The primary objective of this study was therefore to determine if the timing of the first ANC visit influences the risk of having a stillbirth in a full-term, singleton pregnancy for a population of South African women.
The majority of infant deaths in Kenya are due to poor perinatal outcomes, including early neonatal deaths and stillborn deliveries. This study was conducted to determine whether selected health service delivery indicators differ between primary care facilities which reported adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes in the national health management information system compared to those that did not.
In many developing countries, fertility rates remain high due to lack of access to reproductive health and family planning (FP) services. FP use remains a central intervention in addressing maternal/child morbidity and mortality. Timely monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of FP indicators is therefore critical in addressing maternal and child mortality. Performance Monitoring and Accountability PMA2020 introduces an innovative approach for program M&E. Using this approach a study was conducted to estimate demand/use, supply and access of modern contraception in Kenya.