Morocco Forum on Maternal Mortality


Sharing Experience and Sustaining Progress

The Moroccan Ministry of Health hosted an international forum on maternal mortality in Rabat, from 29 June to 1 July. This scientific meeting, opened by Madame Yasmina Baddou, the Minister of Health and the Director of the Arab States Regional Office of the UNFPA, Mr. Hafedh Cheikh, was held to share Morocco’s experience in reducing maternal mortality and to gain expert input into the next phase of Morocco’s health policies.

The meeting brought together leaders in research, policy, and implementation. Participating in the Forum were national and regional health policymakers, UN development agencies, academics, foundations, and medical leaders. The Forum also welcomed policymakers and health managers from seven countries in the Arab States region: Tunisia, Djibouti, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Yemen.

As a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Morocco committed to achieve Goal 5, to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015. The government has placed high priority on safe motherhood, devoting substantial attention and funds to reducing maternal mortality in its 2008-2012 national health plan. The Ministry of Health appointed a commission charged with accelerating the reduction of maternal mortality and undertook several key measures to improve the functioning of the health care system for obstetric and neonatal emergencies. The measures taken have been comprehensive and based on national and international research and evidence. They include: community outreach to link women to health facilities, removal of user fees for maternal health services, upgrading of facilities, instituting transport and referral systems, improving the supply of essential drugs, and increasing the numbers and skills of doctors and midwives.

The adoption of a multisectoral and a whole-of health-systems approach has been critical to the success of the program. Morocco’s maternal mortality ratio is estimated at 112 deaths per 100,000 births as of 2008, which represents a decline of nearly 60 percent since 1990. Morocco is one of a small group of countries “on track” to achieve MDG 5 by 2015.

For questions, please contact: Dr. Belghiti Alaoui, Chief of the Directorate of the Ambulatory and Hospital Care of the Ministry of Health, Morocco. Email: