INEI: Peru’s maternal mortality rate down 44% since 2000

Peru’s maternal mortality rate has fallen by 44% over the last nine years, the head of the national statistics and technology bureau INEI, Renán Quispe, told state news agency Andina.

Findings in a family health and demographic study recently released found that the maternal mortality rate in 2009 was 103 cases per 100,000 live births, compared to 185 cases in 2000.

The drop in maternal mortality is a result of improved access to prenatal health services and better care from health professionals, Quispe said.

The study found that 94.3 percent of births over the last five years were done by a health professional, up from 82.6 percent in 2000.

The study found that prenatal health coverage was 97.9 percent in urban centers, compared to 87.1 percent in rural areas. However, coverage in rural areas has improved over the last nine years from approximately 72 percent in 2000.

The study also found that infant mortality has fallen by 39.4 percent to 20 cases per 100,000 from 33 cases.

Chronic malnutrition for children under 5 years old has declined 7.2 percent since 2000, however still sits at 23.8 percent and continues to affect children living in rural areas more than those in urban centers. More than 40 percent of malnutrition cases are in rural areas.

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