Making Every Baby Count: Audit and review of stillbirths and neonatal deaths

This second publication – launched by the WHO in August, 2016 – aims to help countries improve their data on maternal and neonatal deaths, and stillbirths. This document provides guidance on the review and investigation of perinatal deaths to recommend and put into action solutions to avoid future cases of similar causes. The guide and tools have been developed to be used at multiple levels of a health system from a few individuals at a health facility to a national programme. The tools offer a simpler version of the WHO application of ICD-10 (ICD-10) to deaths during the perinatal period (ICD-PM) to be used in low-resource settings to help initiate and build up audit (or review) systems.

Moreover, the guide integrates elements of the ICD-PM classification system to carry out an in-depth review of the causes and factors leading to all stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

The structure of the guide provides an overview of the key components to develop an audit system by:

  • justifying the purpose of the guide and development of an audit system
  • discussing the issues around defining and categorising causes of death, and providing examples of differing systems to classify preventable causes of deaths and near misses
  • defining six necessary approaches to set up and complete an audit cycle at the facility level
  • describing how to integrate community deaths into an established facility-based audit system
  • promoting a supportive atmosphere for the success of an audit system and giving advice on how to create an enabling environment
  • providing guidance on how to extend an audit system to a regional or national level as well as strengthening links to civil registration and community surveillance systems

Visit the MamaYe-E4A website to read the evidence summary, and to link to the report and other relevant publications.