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Simulation modeling to guide priority setting in global maternal health

An individual-level simulation model has been developed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of maternal health policy interventions in 200 countries and territories. In addition to assessing global progress, this approach can guide priority setting and provide context-specific guidance for local policymakers.

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Fig. 1: Projected global MMR by integrated strategy.


  1. EPMM working group. Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality (EPMM). UNICEF (2015). This World Health Organization strategy document defines the maternal health targets for the SDGs.

  2. Ward, Z. J., Atun, R., King, G., Sequeira Dmello, B. & Goldie, S. Simulation-based estimates and projections of global, regional, and country-level maternal mortality by cause, 1990-2050. Nat Med. (2023). This paper describes the development and calibration of the GMatH microsimulation model.

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  3. WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and UNDESA/Population Division. Trends in maternal mortality 2000 to 2020. World Health Organization (2023). This paper describes the approach used to estimate maternal mortality by the United Nations Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group.

  4. GBD 2015 Maternal Mortality Collaborators. Global, regional, and national levels of maternal mortality, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet 388, 1775–1812 (2016). This paper describes the approach used to estimate maternal mortality for the Global Burden of Disease Study.

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This is a summary of: Ward, Z. J. et al. A simulation-based comparative effectiveness analysis of policies to improve global maternal health outcomes. Nat. Med. (2023).

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Simulation modeling to guide priority setting in global maternal health. Nat Med 29, 1074–1075 (2023).

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