Maternal mortality at the community level: an innovative approach to measurement

Ndola Prata, University of California, Berkeley
Caitlin Gerdts, University of California, Berkeley
Amanuel Guessessew, Tigrai Health Bureau

The current pilot study in Tigray, Ethiopia, aims to assess the feasibility of an innovative community-based, mixed-methods approach for accurate measurement of maternal mortality and COD. Beginning in June 2010, the pilot project set out to test the feasibility of implementing community-based Civil Vital Registration system designed using Sentinel Surveillance(SS) and Verbal Autopsy(VA) for COD). The pilot project was implemented in 3 health posts (basic, community-level health care facilities) and 1 health center (intermediate-level health care facility) with a catchment area of approximately 15,000 people. Based on preliminary results we are optimistic about the feasibility of the methodology, study as data collected thus far reflect reasonable estimates of demographic indicators. An intervention based on the pilot methodology could serve as an important, sustainable tool for governments to identify cause of maternal death in low resource settings, and implement strategies to prevent such deaths in the future.

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Presented in Session 50: Determinants and trends in maternal mortality