Strengthening Maternal and Newborn Health Surveillance Systems

Many pregnancy-related and newborn deaths are preventable, yet maternal and perinatal mortality rates remain high in many areas of the world. An important step in reducing these deaths is to fully understand their causes and how widespread the problem is. Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Systems count and collect information on those deaths and their causes.

CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health provides technical assistance to countries that are adopting Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Responseexternal icon  systems. These systems help countries to:

  • Accurately count the maternal and newborn deaths.
  • Collect information on the causes of each death.
  • Understand the health care environment in which the deaths occur.
  • Develop and enact medical and policy changes to prevent future deaths.

The development and evaluation of these maternal and perinatal mortality surveillance systems has been a collaboration between CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization.