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Concept: Maternal death

306

To test whether there is an association between abortion legislation and maternal mortality outcomes after controlling for other factors thought to influence maternal health.

Concepts: Public health, Human, Demography, Experiment, Abortion, Maternal death, Millennium Development Goals, Stillbirth

173

BACKGROUND: Inequity in access to and use of child and maternal health interventions is impeding progress towards the maternal and child health Millennium Development Goals. This study explores the potential health gains and equity impact if a set of priority interventions for mothers and under fives were scaled up to reach national universal coverage targets for MDGs in Tanzania. METHODS: We used the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) to estimate potential reductions in maternal and child mortality and the number of lives saved across wealth quintiles and between rural and urban settings. High impact maternal and child health interventions were modelled for a five-year scale up, by linking intervention coverage, effectiveness and cause of mortality using data from Tanzania. Concentration curves were drawn and the concentration index estimated to measure the equity impact of the scale up. RESULTS: In the poorest population quintiles in Tanzania, the lives of more than twice as many mothers and under-fives were likely to be saved, compared to the richest quintile. Scaling up coverage to equal levels across quintiles would reduce inequality in maternal and child mortality from a pro rich concentration index of -0.11 (maternal) and -0.12 (children) to a more equitable concentration index of -0,03 and -0.03 respectively. In rural areas, there would likely be an eight times greater reduction in maternal deaths than in urban areas and a five times greater reduction in child deaths than in urban areas. CONCLUSIONS: Scaling up priority maternal and child health interventions to equal levels would potentially save far more lives in the poorest populations, and would accelerate equitable progress towards maternal and child health MDGs.

Concepts: Demography, Population, Maternal death, United Nations, Millennium Development Goals, Child mortality, Maternal health, Poverty reduction

171

Current methods for estimating maternal mortality lack precision, and are not suitable for monitoring progress in the short run. In addition, national maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) alone do not provide useful information on where the greatest burden of mortality is located, who is concerned, what are the causes, and more importantly what sub-national variations occur. This paper discusses a maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) system. MDSR systems are not yet established in most countries and have potential added value for policy making and accountability and can build on existing efforts to conduct maternal death reviews, verbal autopsies and confidential enquiries. Accountability at national and sub-national levels cannot rely on global, regional and national retrospective estimates periodically generated from academia or United Nations organizations but on routine counting, investigation, sub national data analysis, long term investments in vital registration and national health information systems. Establishing effective maternal death surveillance and response will help achieve MDG 5, improve quality of maternity care and eliminate maternal mortality (MMR <= 30 per 100,000 by 2030).

Concepts: Death, Demography, Value added, Maternal death, United Nations, Autopsy, Millennium Development Goals, Perinatal mortality

163

As the deadline for the millennium development goals approaches, it has become clear that the goals linked to maternal and newborn health are the least likely to be achieved by 2015. It is therefore critical to ensure that all possible data, tools and methods are fully exploited to help address this gap. Among the methods that are under-used, mapping has always represented a powerful way to ‘tell the story’ of a health problem in an easily understood way. In addition to this, the advanced analytical methods and models now being embedded into Geographic Information Systems allow a more in-depth analysis of the causes behind adverse maternal and newborn health (MNH) outcomes. This paper examines the current state of the art in mapping the geography of MNH as a starting point to unleashing the potential of these under-used approaches. Using a rapid literature review and the description of the work currently in progress, this paper allows the identification of methods in use and describes a framework for methodological approaches to inform improved decision-making. The paper is aimed at health metrics and geography of health specialists, the MNH community, as well as policy-makers in developing countries and international donor agencies.

Concepts: Geographic information system, Map, World Bank, Maternal death, United Nations, Millennium Development Goals, Maternal health, Poverty reduction

155

In Malawi, abortion is legal only if performed to save a woman’s life; other attempts to procure an abortion are punishable by 7-14 years imprisonment. Most induced abortions in Malawi are performed under unsafe conditions, contributing to Malawi’s high maternal mortality ratio. Malawians are currently debating whether to provide additional exceptions under which an abortion may be legally obtained. An estimated 67,300 induced abortions occurred in Malawi in 2009 (equivalent to 23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44), but changes since 2009, including dramatic increases in contraceptive prevalence, may have impacted abortion rates.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Birth control, Medical statistics, Human rights, Abortion, Maternal death, Stillbirth, Abortifacient

146

Improving maternal health and reducing maternal mortality rate are key concerns. One of the eight millennium development goals adopted at the millennium summit, was to improve maternal health in Ethiopia. This leads towards discovering the factors that hinder postnatal care visit in Ethiopia.

Concepts: Mortality rate, Demography, Maternal death, Millennium Development Goals, Maternal health, 2005 World Summit, Perinatal mortality, Millennium Summit

101

Background The prevalence of facility-based childbirth in low-resource settings has increased dramatically during the past two decades, yet gaps in the quality of care persist and mortality remains high. The World Health Organization (WHO) Safe Childbirth Checklist, a quality-improvement tool, promotes systematic adherence to practices that have been associated with improved childbirth outcomes. Methods We conducted a matched-pair, cluster-randomized, controlled trial in 60 pairs of facilities across 24 districts of Uttar Pradesh, India, testing the effect of the BetterBirth program, an 8-month coaching-based implementation of the Safe Childbirth Checklist, on a composite outcome of perinatal death, maternal death, or maternal severe complications within 7 days after delivery. Outcomes - assessed 8 to 42 days after delivery - were compared between the intervention group and the control group with adjustment for clustering and matching. We also compared birth attendants' adherence to 18 essential birth practices in 15 matched pairs of facilities at 2 and 12 months after the initiation of the intervention. Results Of 161,107 eligible women, we enrolled 157,689 (97.9%) and determined 7-day outcomes for 157,145 (99.7%) mother-newborn dyads. Among 4888 observed births, birth attendants' mean practice adherence was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group (72.8% vs. 41.7% at 2 months; 61.7% vs. 43.9% at 12 months; P<0.001 for both comparisons). However, there was no significant difference between the trial groups either in the composite primary outcome (15.1% in the intervention group and 15.3% in the control group; relative risk, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.18; P=0.90) or in secondary maternal or perinatal adverse outcomes. Conclusions Birth attendants' adherence to essential birth practices was higher in facilities that used the coaching-based WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist program than in those that did not, but maternal and perinatal mortality and maternal morbidity did not differ significantly between the two groups. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Clinical Trials number, NCT02148952 .).

Concepts: Childbirth, Death, Medical statistics, Obstetrics, Maternal death, Perinatal mortality, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates

38

One of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals of 2000 was to reduce maternal mortality by 75% in 15 y; however, this challenge was not met by many industrialized countries. As average maternal age continues to rise in these countries, associated potentially life-threatening severe maternal morbidity has been understudied. Our primary objective was to examine the associations between maternal age and severe maternal morbidities. The secondary objective was to compare these associations with those for adverse fetal/infant outcomes.

Concepts: Cohort study, Maternal death, United Nations, Millennium Development Goals, International development, 2005 World Summit, United Nations Millennium Declaration, United Nations General Assembly

38

Family planning is one of the four pillars of the Safe Motherhood Initiative to reduce maternal death in developing countries. We aimed to estimate the effect of contraceptive use on maternal mortality and the expected reduction in maternal mortality if the unmet need for contraception were met, at country, regional, and world levels.

Concepts: Family, Birth control, Family planning, Death, Demography, Abortion, Maternal death, Sex education

33

Increasing contraceptive use in developing countries has cut the number of maternal deaths by 40% over the past 20 years, merely by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies. By preventing high-risk pregnancies, especially in women of high parities, and those that would have ended in unsafe abortion, increased contraceptive use has reduced the maternal mortality ratio–the risk of maternal death per 100,000 livebirths–by about 26% in little more than a decade. A further 30% of maternal deaths could be avoided by fulfilment of unmet need for contraception. The benefits of modern contraceptives to women’s health, including non-contraceptive benefits of specific methods, outweigh the risks. Contraception can also improve perinatal outcomes and child survival, mainly by lengthening interpregnancy intervals. In developing countries, the risk of prematurity and low birthweight doubles when conception occurs within 6 months of a previous birth, and children born within 2 years of an elder sibling are 60% more likely to die in infancy than are those born more than 2 years after their sibling.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Birth control, Death, Obstetrics, Abortion, Maternal death, Unintended pregnancy