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Since 2010, Rwanda has seen a 55 per cent decline in the maternal death ratio – an enormous success which qualified Rwanda to be among the nine developing countries which achieved the millennium development goals 4 and 5 (MDGs). In spite of these gains, the maternal mortality ratio remains high at 210 deaths per 100,000 live births and requires to triple efforts if we have to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on maternal deaths of 70 per 100,000 live births. Though skilled birth attendance stands high at 91%, the coverage of completed 4 Ante Natal Care visits remains low at 44%.

Besides maternal deaths, various types of injuries and morbidities affects lives of mothers who survive death known as ‘near–miss’ especially obstetric fistula.

Making motherhood safer is a human rights imperative, and it is at the core of UNFPA’s work in Rwanda. UNFPA seeks to make pregnancy and childbirth as safe as possible including during emergencies and aims at zero preventable maternal deaths.

UNFPA Rwanda works with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education/University of Rwanda and other partners to improve maternal health outcomes through dedicated investment in Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Cares services, Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response which help decision makers understand how many women are dying, why, and how to respond, promotion of midwifery profession as well as supporting the ongoing efforts to end obstetric fistula in the country.  

UNFPA supports health system strengthening programs to ensure every pregnancy is wanted and every childbirth is safe with a focus on midwives focusing of regulation, education, and Association of Midwives. Through the use of innovative technology such as Mobile Learning System, UNFPA supports the health information system to produce real time data related not only to maternal health but also to all the spectrum of interventions of Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent using a life cycle and integrated approach.