Subscribe to Research Article | IHME

Publication date: 
February 6, 2023


Since 1990, the maternal mortality significantly decreased at global scale as well as the North Africa and Middle East. However, estimates for mortality and morbidity by cause and age at national scale in this region are not available.


This study is part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study (GBD) 2019. Here we report maternal mortality and morbidity by age and cause across 21 countries in the region from 1990 to 2019.


Between 1990 and 2019, maternal mortality ratio (MMR) dropped from 148.8 (129.6–171.2) to 94.3 (73.4–121.1) per 100000 live births in North Africa and Middle East. In 1990, MMR ranged from 6.0 (5.3–6.8) in Kuwait to 502.9 (375.2–655.3) per 100000 live births in Afghanistan. Respective figures for 2019 were 5.1 (4.0–6.4) in Kuwait to 269.9 (195.8–368.6) in Afghanistan. Percentages of deaths under 25 years was 26.0% in 1990 and 23.8% in 2019. Maternal hemorrhage, indirect maternal deaths, and other maternal disorders rank 1st to 3rd in the entire region. Ultimately, there was an evident decrease in MMR along with increase in socio-demographic index from 1990 to 2019 in all countries in the region and an evident convergence across nations.


MMR has significantly declined in the region since 1990 and only five countries (Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco, and Algeria) out of 21 nations didn’t achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 70 deaths per 100000 live births in 2019. Despite the convergence in trends, there are still disparities across countries.


Sepanlou SG, Rezaei Aliabadi H, Malekzadeh R, Naghavi M, GBD Maternal Middle East Collaborators. Levels and trends of maternal mortality and morbidity by cause in North Africa and Middle East, 1990 to 2019: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Archives of Iranian Medicine. 2022;25(10):666-675. doi: 10.34172/aim.2022.105