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1 Less than 20%
2 20 to 49%
3 50% to 74%
4 75% to 94%
5 95% or more
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Percent of Births Attended by Skilled Personnel

What does it mean ?

This indicator shows the percentage of births that take place in the presence of a skilled healthcare worker who is qualified to attend to births. The definition of a skilled birth attendant is an accredited health professional – such as a midwife, nurse or doctor – who has the necessary skills needed to manage normal pregnancy, childbirth and the period after the birth, and who is able to identify, manage and refer women and newborns if complications occur.

Why does it matter ?

All women should have skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth because the provision of skilled care at every birth significantly reduces the risk of maternal and newborn mortality. This indicator can also give us information on the use of maternity services in a country, and can measure a health system's ability to provide good care during childbirth. Skilled attendance is a crucial factor in reducing maternal and newborn death.

How is it collected ?

A national survey was undertaken in each country from a representative sample of households where women and girls were asked how many babies they have given birth to and when their births occurred. Additional questions were asked about the circumstances at each birth and whether a doctor, midwife, nurse or other skilled person was present. The indicator concerns births that occurred in the three years before the survey.

World Health Organization, Global Health Observatory data repository, accessed in August 2016