Rural mothers in landlocked, mountainous Nepal can face steep challenges accessing maternal health care.
Yet the country is a maternal health success story in many ways, reducing its maternal mortality ratio by 71%, from 901 deaths per 100,000 live births to 258 between 1990 and 2015—despite enduring a civil war and a major earthquake.
The success can be attributed to free and safe delivery services, incentives to get women to hospitals, and use of the oral drug misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. The 2002 legalization of abortion also played a role.
Nepal’s efforts are detailed in the new WHO Bulletin, which features success stories and challenges in women, children and adolescent health, including: