Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Home About us Ahead Of Print Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Editorial Board Login 
Users Online:897
  Print this page  Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 


 
Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1117-1118
Implementing maternal death surveillance and response through the Millennium Villages Project: World Health Organization


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Implementing maternal death surveillance and response through the Millennium Villages Project: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1117-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Implementing maternal death surveillance and response through the Millennium Villages Project: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 May 22];10:1117-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1117/217538


Dear Editor,

The rates of maternal deaths have been intolerably high, especially in developing nations, which accounts for more than 99% of total maternal deaths reported on a global scale.[1] Further, the major concerns are that despite advancement in the medical care, a significantly high proportion of these deaths are from avoidable causes related to pregnancy or childbirth, from rural settings, and among vulnerable population groups (adolescents or financially poor).[1],[2] In short, a lot needs to be done if the policy makers aim to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than equal to 70/100,000 live births by 2030.[1]

There is no doubt that no significant sustainable improvement can be accomplished unless healthcare facilities are strengthened in low-resource settings; nevertheless, it has been realized that it is even more important to understand why a woman died in pregnancy or during childbirth to eventually prevent the deaths of other women in the future in a similar way.[2],[3] In other words, it is important to not only ascertain the medical cause of death but also have a clear picture of events surrounding her death (viz., place of death? Did she or her household members realize the need of emergency care? Whether urgent medical attention was available and was it of good quality? Did she face any hurdle in utilizing the care?).[2],[3],[4]

Moreover, it is a cause of great concern that around 60% of world's nation have no inbuilt comprehensive system for counting births and deaths, and many deaths often remain unreported (occurring outside health facilities in domiciliary or rural settings).[4] In order to deal with the challenge of lack of reporting of maternal deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advocated for the implementation of Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR), which is a continuous cycle of detection, reporting, and assessment of deaths among pregnant women and those who recently delivered, followed by specific interventions and monitoring of the response to avoid any similar deaths in future.[1],[3],[4]

Similar sort of lack of reporting was observed in Ghana, where more than 2500 maternal deaths during childbirth were estimated in 2015 alone.[5] In an effort to deal with this challenge, the WHO in coordination with the national stakeholders initiated the Millennium Villages Project to bring about reforms in the process of recording of patient data by the health workers.[5] However, the project was initially a paper-based system, but realizing its time-consuming nature, a smart phone-based system was adopted to enable health workers to document information in real time at the time of home visits.[5] The mobile-based approach has allowed community workers to maintain a precise record of mothers and children, even in remote setting with no health facilities in the near vicinity.[5]

It is essential to realize that a properly functioning MDSR system enables the health authorities to enumerate and document all maternal deaths, regardless of the settings within 1-2 days.[3],[4],[5] This improvement in data collection and maternal death audits subsequently allows a nation to eventually accomplish the ultimate aim to avert maternal deaths resulting because of a similar cause or similar circumstances in future.[4],[5]

To conclude, the estimates of maternal deaths in developing nations are huge, and there is an indispensable need to identify the exact number of deaths and the circumstances under which these deaths are occurring. It is high time that health stakeholders sat together to strengthen the maternal death and surveillance to collect adequate evidence to prevent further maternal deaths by proper allocation of resources on the basis of gained evidence.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Maternal mortality - Fact sheet N 348; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Aug 24].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J, Reduction in global maternal mortality ratio far from expectation: so what next? J Curr Res Sci Med 2016;2:58-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Scott H, Dairo A, Maternal death surveillance and response in east and southern Africa. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2015;37:915-21.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization Time to respond: a report on the global implementation of maternal death surveillance response (MDSR). Geneva: WHO Press; 2016.p. 1-17.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization Ghanaian health workers use mobile phones to collect real-time maternal health data; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/features/2016/Ghana-phone-maternal/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Aug 25].  Back to cited text no. 5
    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.217538

Rights and Permissions




 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *


    References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed308    
    Printed1    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded1    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal