Maternal health in Lao PDR : repositioning the goal posts

Scopaz, Anna, Eckermann, Elizabeth and Clarke, Matthew 2011, Maternal health in Lao PDR : repositioning the goal posts, Journal of the Asia Pacific economy, vol. 16, no. 4, Special Issue : Old Challenges and New Opportunities for the MDGs : Now and Beyond 2015, pp. 597-611, doi: 10.1080/13547860.2011.610919.

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Title Maternal health in Lao PDR : repositioning the goal posts
Author(s) Scopaz, Anna
Eckermann, ElizabethORCID iD for Eckermann, Elizabeth
Clarke, Matthew
Journal name Journal of the Asia Pacific economy
Volume number 16
Issue number 4
Season Special Issue : Old Challenges and New Opportunities for the MDGs : Now and Beyond 2015
Start page 597
End page 611
Total pages 15
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2011-11
ISSN 1354-7860
Keyword(s) Millennium Development Goals
maternal health
reproductive health
Summary This paper reviews attempts made in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5: Improve Maternal Health and its two targets: (1) to reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio and (2) to achieve universal access to reproductive health. It will be shown that significant strides have been made in relation to both the targets, especially in the province of Xayaboury where the contraceptive prevalence rate is the highest and maternal mortality is the lowest in the country. That said, it is unlikely that either target will be realised by 2015 for the nation as a whole. Some of the reasons for this are canvassed such as problems with the existing health infrastructure and its personnel, the cost of health care, the demographic profile and cultural expectations of women of childbearing age, geographic barriers, the absence of communication and transport infrastructure and the influence of international donors on how monies are expended. As discussions now begin to set the framework for the post-MDG compact of the international community to address poverty and well-being, it would be valuable to consider the multiplicity of factors which directly impact maternal and infant mortality rates (such as family planning, age at first birth, access to antenatal care and government expenditure on maternal health care) and explain what causes change, over non-contextualised statistics that simply report changes.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13547860.2011.610919
Field of Research 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2011
Copyright notice ©2011, Taylor & Francis
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