The major causes of maternal death are obstructed/prolonged labor (13%), ruptured uterus (12%), severe pre-eclampsia/ eclampsia (11%) and malaria (9%). Moreover, 6% of all maternal deaths were attributable to complications from abortion. Shortage of skilled midwives, weak referral system at health centre levels, lack of inadequate availability of equipments, and under financing of the service were identified as major supply side constraints that hindered progress.
On the demand side, cultural norms and societal emotional support bestowed to mothers, distance to functioning health centers and financial barrier were found to be the major causes. Following changes of Government in 1991, the Government produced the health policy, which was the first of its kind in the country and was among a number of political and socio-economic transformation measures that were put in place. However, there is need to undertake concerted effort in further improving the health status of the country.