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Maternal deaths in Zimbabwe: Is it a crime to be a woman in Zimbabwe?

Nyoni, Thabani (2019): Maternal deaths in Zimbabwe: Is it a crime to be a woman in Zimbabwe?

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Abstract

Is it a crime to be a woman in Zimbabwe? Is it normal to have at least 6 women dying each day of pregnancy related complications? The time to deal with maternal health problems in Zimbabwe is now! This study uses annual time series data on maternal deaths and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in Zimbabwe from 1990 to 2015, to model and forecast both maternal deaths and MMR using the Box-Jenkins ARIMA technique. Diagnostic tests indicate that both M_t and MMR_t are I (2) variables. Based on minimum AIC statistics, the study presents the ARIMA (0, 2, 2) model and the ARIMA (2, 2, 0) model as the parsimonious models for forecasting maternal deaths and MMR respectively. The diagnostic tests further show that these models are stable and hence suitable for forecasting maternal deaths and MMR respectively. The selected optimal models prove beyond any reasonable doubt that in the next decade (2016 – 2025), maternal deaths and MMR in Zimbabwe are likely to increase. This is a serious warning signal on the need to give maternal health the attention it deserves. The study boasts of three policy prescriptions that are envisaged to reverse the predictions of the selected optimal models.

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