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Yemen shows impressive progress in RH indicators (Yemen DHS-2013)

The Ministry of Public Health and Population, the Central Statistics Organization, and the United Nations Population Fund in Yemen launched today the results of 2013 Yemen National Health and Demographic Survey. The survey shows encouraging and impressive improvements in the areas of maternal mortality, antenatal care, total fertility and contraceptives prevalence.

With technical and financial support from the key international development partners and with leadership of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP), the survey aimed to provide valid and reliable information that will enable the MoPHP and development partners to effectively implement and monitor reproductive health policies and programs. This survey is being the fourth carried out since the early nineties where Yemen had previously carried out three surveys in 1992, 1997 and 2003. Therefore, the results of the current survey are deemed highly significant for the progress achieved in key demographic and health indicators since 2003.

The survey collected data on maternal and child mortality, antenatal care, fertility and fertility preferences, knowledge and use of family planning methods, nutritional status of women (15-49 years) and under-5 children, child feeding practices, knowledge and attitudes regarding sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, obstetric fistula and disabilities. Data for this survey was collected from a nationally representative sample of 19,517 households.

The results of the survey shows that maternal mortality in Yemen declined significantly to 148/100,000 live births compared to 365/100,000 live births in 2003. In comparison to 2006 MICS results, several RH figures shows positive increase. 60% of surveyed women received antenatal care (43% in 2006), deliveries attended by skilled health providers increased to 45% (36% in 2006) while institutional deliveries increased to 30% (24% in 2006).

Maternal mortality in Yemen declined significantly to 148 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births

On the other hand, the survey highlighted an impressive increase in the use of contraceptive methods. The use of modern methods, which includes female sterilization, the pill, IUD, injections and condoms is reported by 29% of women (19% in 2006). The use of traditional contraceptive methods among married women has dropped to 4% (8% in 2006). The fertility rate has also dropped significantly to 4.4 births per woman.

The results of survey provide a strong evidence and sound estimates of demographic and health indicators that will be very useful for policy makers, international and local development partners, and researchers in future planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of RH policies and programs. The Preliminary Report can be downloaded from the MoPHP website.