Perinatal Care in Pakistan: A Situational Analysis

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Shereen Rehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Pakistan, one of the most populous countries in the world, has an estimated perinatal mortality rate of 60 to 90 per thousand births, of which almost half are stillbirths. Although infant mortality rates have declined in recent years, nearly 60% of all deaths occur in the neonatal period and have shown comparatively little change over several decades. This is attributed mainly to inadequate attention to programs of maternal and newborn care. The recently implemented Social Action and Health Care Programs of the Government of Pakistan promises to provide domiciliary maternal and newborn care services through the use of trained birth attendants and community workers. The primary health care services network is also being revamped in an effort to improve timely recognition of high-risk pregnancies and to facilitate prompt referral. The importance of the newborn period is also being emphasized in pediatric undergraduate and postgraduate training programs, as well as through continuing medical education. However, the most important long-term solution would be improvement in the educational and social status of women, as well as a greater political support for diversion of limited resources to appropriate primary and secondary health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997


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