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Maternal health heterogeneity: Comparative evidence on reproductive age life expectancy and maternal morbidities in sub-Saharan Africa

Audrey Kalindi, School of Demography Australian National University
Brian Houle, Australian National University
Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Australian National University

Remarkable progress has been made in reducing MMR from 1992 to 2017. Most (94%) maternal deaths occur in LMIC and SSA alone accounted for roughly two thirds of these deaths in 2017, with an MMR of 462 per 100,000 live births. SSA’s maternal morbidities have also remained high in the same period. However, the number of RALE which women spend with maternal morbidities, and how much each maternal morbidity contributes to unhealthy remaining reproductive life years is unknown. This study estimates the number of life years women of reproductive age spend in poor health due to indirect maternal morbidities: HIV and anemia. It uses DHS data from SSA countries to estimate age-specific mortality prevalence in the reproductive ages, and construct life tables to estimate RALE with and without morbidities using the Sullivan method. The results show that despite a reduction in MMR, there is still high prevalence of HIV and anemia among SSA women. These conditions compromise women’s health, reducing their healthy living by an average of 14.2 years, where 10.5 years are spent on anemia and 2.3 on HIV and 1.4 on comorbidities. Approximately 41% of SSA women spend 14 years of their reproductive live years with morbidities.

Keywords: Health and morbidity, Inequality, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Mortality

See paper.

  Presented in Session 176. Demographic and Socioeconomic Aspects of Health Across Many Geographies