n Gender and Behaviour - The state of maternal mortality in South Africa

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



Maternal mortality is a fundamental public health issue and Millennium Development Goal Five deals with an improvement in maternal health. Despite much extensive legislation pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), South Africa has been dogged by rising pregnancy-related deaths, leapfrogging its maternal mortality to new heights which renders meeting its MDG target of 38 per 100,000 live births in 2015 unlikely. A problem besetting maternal mortality in South Africa has to do with the fact the actual levels of maternal mortality are questionable given the varied estimations that have been put forward over the years by different organizations and researchers. The aim of the article is to highlight the state of maternal mortality in South Africa and reasons for its upward trend. The Post -2015 Development Agenda accords both maternal health and SRHR key prominence, thereby reaffirming the need for reliable maternal mortality estimates in the future.

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