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Ending preventable maternal mortality is an unfinished agenda. While maternal deaths decreased by 35% worldwide since 2000, around 79,000 women still die every year from largely preventable causes in Asia-Pacific alone.

In recent years, Papua New Guinea has been struggling to improve reproductive and maternal health for women. Latest data available paint a complex picture, where limited progress has been achieved in the past decade. Despite an increased availability of midwives, the country lags behind on indicators such as antenatal care, deliveries in health facilities and family planning, while the number of skilled birth attendants seems to have decreased in recent years. In addition to the poor availability and quality of key health services, estimated high levels of out-of-pocket expenditures for health appear to be further contributing to a decrease in health service utilization.

Maternal health is a top priority for the Government of Papua New Guinea and this is evidenced in the Government’s National Health Plan 2011-2020. This brief details a ‘Roadmap’ with key activities to eliminate preventable maternal mortality and morbidities in the country.