Preventing Maternal Deaths

Maternal Mortality Surveillance

image of a pregnant woman getting an exam

Although conditions have improved in recent years in much of the world, many women in developing countries still die in childbirth or of pregnancy-related causes. Yet, in places that lack strong vital registration systems, a large proportion of these deaths may go unrecordedand thus officials do not really know the extent of the maternal mortality problem and often don’t have good information on which to base programs to reduce maternal mortality. To bring about improvements to maternity care and to save lives, policy makers need solid evidence of the scope and locations of the problem. The Division of Reproductive Health has been working with the Saving Mothers, Giving Life initiative to document the levels of maternal and neonatal mortality in the study districts before the activity began and as the initiative progresses.