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Reproductive Health

, 10:1

First Online: 02 January 2013Received: 05 October 2012Accepted: 24 December 2012DOI: 10.1186-1742-4755-10-1

Cite this article as: Hounton, S., De Bernis, L., Hussein, J. et al. Reprod Health 2013 10: 1. doi:10.1186-1742-4755-10-1


Current methods for estimating maternal mortality lack precision, and are not suitable for monitoring progress in the short run. In addition, national maternal mortality ratios MMRs alone do not provide useful information on where the greatest burden of mortality is located, who is concerned, what are the causes, and more importantly what sub-national variations occur. This paper discusses a maternal death surveillance and response MDSR system. MDSR systems are not yet established in most countries and have potential added value for policy making and accountability and can build on existing efforts to conduct maternal death reviews, verbal autopsies and confidential enquiries. Accountability at national and sub-national levels cannot rely on global, regional and national retrospective estimates periodically generated from academia or United Nations organizations but on routine counting, investigation, sub national data analysis, long term investments in vital registration and national health information systems. Establishing effective maternal death surveillance and response will help achieve MDG 5, improve quality of maternity care and eliminate maternal mortality MMR ≤ 30 per 100,000 by 2030.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1742-4755-10-1 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Sennen Hounton - Luc De Bernis - Julia Hussein - Wendy J Graham - Isabella Danel - Peter Byass - Elizabeth M Mason


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