In this Section we have explored the scope and burden of maternal and newborn ill health at global, regional and country levels. The key messages are as follows:
- Global data indicates that, while progress has been made, maternal and neonatal deaths and the burden of ill health are a continuing concern in low and middle income settings.
- Global maternal and newborn health (MNH) indicators of survival and access to health services provide an overview of the scope of the issue and general trends.
- They can also provide information on potential inequalities of access to health care services and can be indicative of the quality of MNH services and the overall health systems.
- Exploring trends across time, cause and subgroups of populations can give valuable pointers for quality improvement needs, although the data available is often incomplete and of uncertain quality.
In the subsequent sections we will explore the concept of quality and its various elements.