Minding the Gaps: A Reassessment of the Challenges to Safe Motherhood

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Maternal and perinatal mortality reduction has remained a priority on the international health agenda for nearly 2 decades. During this time, strategies for achieving these goals have shifted in emphasis from prevention of pregnancies to provision of care. Robust evidence is limited, particularly regarding what works best in delivering care in specific health system settings and at the population level.

The authors describe the limited evidence base using a framework that highlights the consequences of the major gaps in measurement, evidence, and action, and the authors discuss existing opportunities for bridging these gaps at the policy level. Capitalizing on current global policy interests and generating demand-driven evidence is a priority for enabling documentation of progress toward reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for 2015.

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