Scientific publications

Trends, Projections, and Regional Disparities of Maternal Mortality in Africa (1990-2030): An ARIMA Forecasting Approach

Aug 29, 2023 | Magazine: Epidemiología

Luc Onambele  1 , Sara Guillen-Aguinaga  2 , Laura Guillen-Aguinaga  2   3 , Wilfrido Ortega-Leon  4 , Rocio Montejo  5   6 , Rosa Alas-Brun  2 , Enrique Aguinaga-Ontoso  7 , Ines Aguinaga-Ontoso  2   8   9 , Francisco Guillen-Grima  2   8   9   10


With the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (2015-2030) focused on the reduction in maternal mortality, monitoring and forecasting maternal mortality rates (MMRs) in regions like Africa is crucial for health strategy planning by policymakers, international organizations, and NGOs.

We collected maternal mortality rates per 100,000 births from the World Bank database between 1990 and 2015. Joinpoint regression was applied to assess trends, and the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was used on 1990-2015 data to forecast the MMRs for the next 15 years. We also used the Holt method and the machine-learning Prophet Forecasting Model.

The study found a decline in MMRs in Africa with an average annual percentage change (APC) of -2.6% (95% CI -2.7; -2.5). North Africa reported the lowest MMR, while East Africa experienced the sharpest decline. The region-specific ARIMA models predict that the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in 2030 will vary across regions, ranging from 161 deaths per 100,000 births in North Africa to 302 deaths per 100,000 births in Central Africa, averaging 182 per 100,000 births for the continent. Despite the observed decreasing trend in maternal mortality rate (MMR), the MMR in Africa remains relatively high.

The results indicate that MMR in Africa will continue to decrease by 2030. However, no region of Africa will likely reach the SDG target.

CITATION  Epidemiologia (Basel). 2023 Aug 29;4(3):322-351.  doi: 10.3390/epidemiologia4030032

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