The problem of high rates of maternal mortality has proved difficult to tackle in many developing countries. International development targets that seek to reduce maternal deaths have yet to be reached. The recent call for an increase in skilled medical attendance at delivery marks a new emphasis of international attention (Starrs, 2000); as previous remedies such as the training of traditional birth attendants and antenatal risk screening having largely failed to make a significant impact on the continuing toll of maternity-related deaths (Bergsjo 2001, Bergstrom and Goodburn, 2001). This new direction brings the important aspects of health system investment, quality of care and poverty-constrained access into sharper focus (Hulton et al, 2001).
Matthews, Z. Maternal Mortality and Poverty. DFID Resource Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health, London, UK (2002) 17 pp.