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Births attended by skilled health staff are the percentage of deliveries attended by personnel trained to give the necessary supervision, care, and advice to women during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period, to conduct deliveries on their own, and to care for the newborns. High maternal mortality rates in many countries are the result of inadequate reproductive health care for women and inadequately spaced births. The indicator monitors the ability of the health system to provide good antenatal and postnatal care for women and relates to the fifth MDG aiming at improving maternal health, with a target of reducing by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.