Health minister aims to decrease maternal mortality rate by 25% in 2 years

Health Minister Oscar Ugarte said he expects Peru’s maternal mortality rate to decrease by 25% within 2 years, state news agency Andina reported.

Ugarte said the target to decrease maternal mortality will require improved quality of services and attention for patients.

“I am convinced that Peru can achieve the goal of reducing the maternal mortality [rate] by a quarter,” Ugarte said. “I don’t doubt that in a year or two at the maximum, we will be able to achieve this reduction.”

A report published earlier this month by Peru’s national statistics and technology bureau INEI found that the maternal mortality rate had decreased by 44% to 103 cases per 100,000 live births in 2009 from 185 cases in 2000.

INEI head Renán Quispe said the decline in the maternal mortality rate was the result of improved access to prenatal health services and better care from health professionals.

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 improved over the last nine years from approximately 72 percent in 2000.

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