A range of health system leaders and other dignitaries attended the release of Jordan’s third National Maternal Mortality Report in February 2022. Photo credit: USAID/Jordan

Maternal mortality is as an important indicator of a nation’s health. Jordan has reliable, up-to-date data on maternal mortality thanks to the Jordan Maternal Mortality Surveillance and Response system launched in 2018 with USAID support.

The USAID Health Services Quality Accelerator Activity – implemented by URC – led the process to develop the third National Maternal Mortality Report. Among key findings in the report: an increase in Jordan’s maternal mortality ratio from 32.4 per 100,000 live births in 2019 to 38.5 women per 100,000 live births in 2020, with COVID-19 as the leading cause of maternal death in 2020. The report describes the main factors contributing to rising maternal mortality and recommends actions at all levels of the health system to prevent future deaths.

The Jordanian Ministry of Health (MOH), with the USAID Health Services Quality Accelerator Activity, released highlights from the report at an event on February 27, 2022, attended by the Minister of Health, the USAID Mission Director, Director-General of the Royal Medical Services, government officials, and USAID representatives.

“The third National Maternal Mortality Reportfor the year 2020 is a continuation of achievements of national programs for safe motherhood adopted by the Ministry of Health and comes with direct support from the USAID,” said Minister of Health Prof. Dr. Feras Hawari.

“As revealed by the report, COVID-19 was the most common reason for maternal deaths during 2020, underscoring the importance of strengthening national efforts to increase vaccine uptake by pregnant women.”

Informed Actions to Eliminate Preventable Maternal Deaths

Through production of this report, the USAID Health Services Quality Accelerator Activity is supporting the MOH meet its goal of reducing maternal, neonatal, and child mortality. The Activity is helping the MOH strengthen the Jordan Maternal Mortality Surveillance and Response system by training users to collect and analyze verifiable data.

The Activity will work with users to translate the responses in the National Maternal Mortality Report for 2020 into high-impact plans and evidence-based strategies to prevent maternal deaths and improve maternal health services across all sectors in Jordan.

Said USAID/Jordan Mission Director, Sherry F. Carlin: “With the Health Services Quality Accelerator Activity, our joint response will be comprehensive, offering special attention to timely and effective management and treatment of COVID-19 infections for women and their babies thereby averting unnecessary deaths.”