Safer pregnancy and childbirth in Tajikistan

WHO/Tahmina Alimamedova

Implementation of the WHO Making Pregnancy Safer (MPS) programme has helped reduce maternal mortality in Tajikistan. According to estimates by WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank, maternal mortality fell by 44% between 1990 and 2008: an annual decline of 3.3%. In 2008, there were 64 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in Tajikistan.

In general, infant mortality is also declining in the country. Moreover, the results of the latest assessment showed that the quality of care for mothers and newborn babies had significantly improved in recent years. Examples of good care showed that high-quality care for women and children can be provided in spite of deficiencies in health systems, hospital infrastructure and availability of equipment and supplies.

By the request of the Ministry of Health, MPS has been implemented in Tajikistan since 2001, focusing on capacity building, use of evidence-based norms and interventions, monitoring and evaluation, partnership building, advocacy and resource mobilization. Activities address factors vital to ensuring access to skilled medical care before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth. They target not only health systems and medical staff but also communities and families.