Safe Delivery Care: Policy, Practice and Gaps in Nepal
Delivery care is regarded as safe when it is attended by a skilled birth attendant either at health facility or home. Childbirth practices differ from place to place and are determined by availability and accessibility of health services. After National Health Policy (1991), Nepal has focused on safe motherhood policies and programmes. Maternal mortality ratio decreased nearly fourfold between the years 1990 to 2011. The country is likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5. However, indicators of the MDG 5: skilled care at birth and institutional delivery rates are very far from the targets. From the initial findings of limited studies, safe delivery incentive programme has been successful for increasing the skilled care at birth and institutional delivery and reducing the maternal mortality twofold between the years 1990 to 2011. In spite of numerous efforts there is a wide difference in the utilization of skilled care at birth among the women by area of residence, ecological regions, wealth quintiles, education status, age and parity of women, caste ethnicity and so forth. This difference indicates that current policies and programmes are not enough for addressing the low utilization of safe delivery care throughout the country.
Keywords: delivery practices; gaps; Nepal; place of delivery; safe delivery care policy.
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