Recent Trends in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in Brazil: Progress Toward Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5
We analyzed Brazil’s efforts in reducing child mortality, improving maternal and child health, and reducing socioeconomic and regional inequalities from 1990 through 2007. We compiled and reanalyzed data from several sources, including vital statistics and population-based surveys. We also explored the roles of broad socioeconomic and demographic changes and the introduction of health sector and other reform measures in explaining the improvements observed. Our findings provide compelling evidence that proactive measures to reduce health disparities accompanied by socioeconomic progress can result in measurable improvements in the health of children and mothers in a relatively short interval. Our analysis of Brazil’s successes and remaining challenges to reach and surpass Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 can provide important lessons for other low- and middle-income countries.