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Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health
Adolescent Fertility Rate
Births Attended by Skilled Personnel
Contraceptive Prevalence
Infant Mortality Rate
DPT3 Immunization Coverage in Children
Maternal Mortality Ratio
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What does it mean ?
Full Name:Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
Full Unit:Percentage (%)
Year-range of Data:2003 - 2015
Source:Millennium Development Goals Indicators
Link :http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Data.aspx
Date Source Published:9th July 2015
Date Source Accessed:4th January 2016

The following countries had no data:
Morocco, SADR, Seychelles

Alternative Data Sources

Births Attended by Skilled Personnel

What does it mean ?

This indicator shows the percentage of births that take place in the presence of a skilled healthcare worker who is qualified to attend to births. The definition of a skilled birth attendant is an accredited health professional – such as a midwife, nurse or doctor – who has the necessary skills needed to manage normal pregnancy, childbirth and the period after the birth, and who is able to identify, manage and refer women and newborns if complications occur.

Why does it matter ?

All women should have skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth because the provision of skilled care at every birth significantly reduces the risk of maternal and newborn mortality. This indicator can also give us information on the use of maternity services in a country, and can measure a health system’s ability to provide good care during childbirth. Skilled attendance is a crucial factor in reducing maternal and newborn death.

How is it collected ?

A national survey was undertaken in each country from a representative sample of households where women and girls were asked how many babies they have given birth to and when their births occurred. Additional questions were asked about the circumstances at each birth and whether a doctor, midwife, nurse or other skilled person was present. The indicator concerns births that occurred 2-5 years before the survey.

Find out more about the Summary Definition and the Methodology for Collection and Calculation

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Summary Definition, Methodology for Collection and Calculation

Alternative Data Sources

The data for each indicator on African Health Stats (AHS) are published by the UN agency, or UN inter-agency group, which holds responsibility for global monitoring of the indicator. This varies by indicator. Please refer to ‘Data Source’. AHS uses data from these sources because such data are internationally comparable and it is the mandate of those agencies to prepare such data and monitor progress internationally. In some cases the UN agency has made adjustments to the data in order to make national data internationally comparable, for example they may adjust national estimates to account for differences in survey design, the extent of potential underreporting, and the definition of what is being measured (eg. maternal deaths). This means that at times there may be discrepancies between national and international estimates. Individual countries may prefer to instead rely on national figures for national monitoring. For uniformity, AHS uses only international estimates of the UN agencies in data visualisations.

In 2014, the following countries communicated that they use alternative figures to monitor the indicator Births Attended by Skilled Personnel instead of the figures that appear in AHS data visualisations. The most recent alternative figure supplied by these countries in 2014, by source are: Botswana 2013 94 (no source); Burundi 2013 73 (no source); Ethiopia 2014 14.5 (no source); Malawi 2014 87.4 (no source); Nigeria 2013 38 DHS; South Sudan 2013 12 (no source); Tanzania 2010 51 DHS; Togo 2013 59 (no source); Zimbabwe 2014 80 (no source).

Collection Summary

A national survey was undertaken in each country from a representative sample of households during which women and girls were asked how many children they have given birth to and when the births occurred. Additional questions were asked about the circumstances at each birth and whether a doctor, midwife, nurse or other skilled person was present. A traditional birth attendant such as a dai or a relative or friend is not counted as a skilled birth attendant (see WHO 2004 document ‘Making pregnancy safer: the critical role of the skilled attendant’ for a definition of a skilled attendant). The indicator is the percentage of births that occurred in the 2-5 years before the survey that were attended by a skilled health professional.

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