By 2001 the government of Brunei had established a series of special hospitals and clinics to address the specific health needs of women and children1. This small change has had a substantial impact on the maternal mortality rate.

brunei_womenAt the time the rate was already comparative low for a developing county, about 40 women died for every 100,000 births in 19982. Due to extensive natural resources and a small population GDP resources were available for development and actions were taken to improve health care access. Infrastructure development has been facilitated by the small size, urbanization and relative wealth of the country.

By 2006 the maternal mortality rate had dropped to 37 deaths per 100,000 live birth3. 2010, the figure dropped to 244, down to 21 deaths per 100,000 births by 20125. Some reports show even lower rates with figures reported as low as 13 deaths per 100,000 live births6.This is fairly astounding considering Brunei ranks 182 out of 191 on over all health care expenditures7.

Given the considerable wealth, and current level of development, additional resources could be allocated to further reduce the rates at an even quicker pace. However, given the small population and low overall birth rate (less than 2 children per born per woman and less than 10,000 total births a year)8 in many years there are no maternal deaths at all9.


  1. Convention on the Rights of the Child 
  2. Convention on the Rights of the Child  
  3. UNFPA, State of the World Population 2006: A Passage to Hope; Women and International Migration, 2006) 102 
  4. World Health Organization, World Health Statistics, Part III, Global Health Indicators, (Published 2012), (Accessed 1 June 2012 
  5. The Rockerfeller Foundation, Rising to the Top? A report on Women’s Leadership in Asia, Astrid S. Tuminez with Kerstin Duell and Haseena Abdul Majid, 59, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, April, 2012, 22.0 
  6. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report: Gender Inequality Index, UNDP, Table 4, 2010, (30 May, 2010) 
  7. CIA World Fact Book – Brunei 
  8. CIA World Fact Book 
  9. National Institute of Health Paper 
 

  1. Convention on the Rights of the Child 

  2. Convention on the Rights of the Child  

  3. UNFPA, State of the World Population 2006: A Passage to Hope; Women and International Migration, 2006) 102 

  4. World Health Organization, World Health Statistics, Part III, Global Health Indicators, (Published 2012), (Accessed 1 June 2012 

  5. The Rockerfeller Foundation, Rising to the Top? A report on Women’s Leadership in Asia, Astrid S. Tuminez with Kerstin Duell and Haseena Abdul Majid, 59, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, April, 2012, 22.0 

  6. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report: Gender Inequality Index, UNDP, Table 4, 2010, (30 May, 2010) 

  7. CIA World Fact Book – Brunei 

  8. CIA World Fact Book 

  9. National Institute of Health Paper