Calculating the proportion of births attended by health professionals
Similarly, successful planning of labour and delivery care services can be evaluated by calculating the percentage of deliveries attended by a health professional, divided by the total number of expected deliveries occurring during a given time period (usually one year) in the catchment area (× 100).
According to the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey 2005, only 6% of births in Ethiopia were attended by a skilled birth attendant — a person who has been trained in midwifery skills to the level of proficiency necessary to manage normal deliveries and diagnose, manage or refer obstetric complications. She or he must be able to recognise the onset of complications, perform certain essential interventions, start treatment, and supervise the referral of mother and baby for interventions that are beyond their competence, or not possible in their particular setting. Ethiopia has the lowest skilled delivery coverage rate in the world. The percentage of deliveries attended by a skilled birth attendant is calculated as follows:
Calculate the skilled delivery coverage rate if you attended 150 out of 200 births in your catchment area.
It would be 150/200 × 100 = 75%
Achieving a high delivery coverage rate will help you to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths and complications in your community. In the next two sections, we show you how to calculate these death rates.