Fiji’s Maternal Mortality Ratio is worse than the global Sustainable Development Goal target.
Following this recent alarming revelation, the Ministry of Health has developed a new systematic procedure to inquire into maternal mortality cases to determine the causes and avoid-ability of deaths, with support from the United Nations Population Fund Pacific.
The Government’s 2023 Voluntary National Review Report on the progress towards the SDG of the 2030 Agenda, cited Fiji’s Maternal Mortality Ratio as 86 women dying as a result of pregnancy or childbirth per 100,000 live births, not reaching the SDG3 target of 70/100,000.
As a major response to improve the quality of maternal and newborn healthcare and end preventable maternal and neonatal deaths, the Health Ministry with UNFPA support developed the nation’s first-ever Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response guidelines.
The guidelines is a qualitative in-depth investigation into the causes, circumstances and underlying factors of all maternal and perinatal deaths, which effectively guides actions to eliminate preventable maternal and perinatal deaths.
It also reinforces the country’s health management information system, as guideline counts every death, enabling an assessment of its true magnitude as well as the impact of actions taken to reduce it.
The Ministry with UNFPA has also completed the training of key health officials who undertake such maternal death audits, so as to respond with actions that will prevent future maternal deaths in the country.