Lewis G. Maternal mortality in the developing world: why do mothers really die? Obstet Med. 2008 Sep; 1(1):2-6. doi: 10.1258/om.2008.080019. Epub 2008 Sep 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 27630738; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5010106.
Every year some eight million women suffer preventable or remediable pregnancy-related complications and over half a million will die unnecessarily. Most of these deaths could be averted at little or no extra cost, even where resources are limited, but in order to take action, and develop and implement changes to maternity services to save mothers and newborns lives, a change in cultural attitudes and political will, as well as improvements in the provision of health and social care, is required.
Further, to aid programme planners, more in-depth information than that which may already be available through national statistics on maternal mortality rates or death certificate data is urgently needed. What is required is an in-depth understanding of the clinical, social, cultural or any other underlying factors which lead to mothers’ deaths. Such information can be obtained by using any of the five methodologies outlined in the World Health Organizations programme and philosophy for maternal death or disability reviews, “Beyond the Numbers”, briefly described here and which are now being introduced in a number of countries around the world.
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