KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 – Malaysia is targeting a lower maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 2020 at 20 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, a rate worse than other developed economies.
According to the Health Ministry’s Budget 2020, Malaysia’s MMR in 2018 was recorded at 27.5 per 100,000 live births.
This year, the rate is expected to drop to 27, and in 2020, the rate is targeted to be at 20. The focus on maternal mortality reflects a recent report by United Nations (UN) groups.
According to the “Maternal mortality: Levels and trends, 2000 to 2017” report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef, UNFPA, World Bank Group, and the United Nations Population Division, Malaysia’s MMR — which is the number of women’s deaths while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, per 100,000 live births — improved by 24 per cent between 2000 and 2017, recording an MMR of 38 in 2000 before falling to 29 in 2017.
However, Malaysia has performed relatively worse than many of the developed nations in the Western Pacific region.
In 2017, Malaysia recorded an MMR of 29 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, almost four times higher than Singapore’s MMR of eight in the same year. In the year 2017, South Korea’s MMR was 11, followed by New Zealand (nine), Australia (six), and Japan (five).