In March 2015 we shared the news that the Evidence for Action programme in Ghana was piloting the use of Maternal Death Audit Monitoring Forms. This case study presents some of the key findings from this pilot, key challenges and lessons learned.
Ghana is faced with high maternal mortality. In 2015, the maternal mortality ratio was an estimated 319 deaths per 100,000 live births . Facility-based maternal death audits have been used in Ghana as an important strategy to improve maternal health care since 2000. These audits are a qualitative improvement process that seeks to improve pregnancy care and outcomes through the systematic review of the care received. The ultimate purpose of maternal death audits is to identify factors contributing to the deaths and to take remedial action . Continue reading
This article by Felix Sayinzoga and colleagues, published by BMJ Open in January 2016, presents the findings of a review of all health facility-based maternal death audits in Rwanda between January 2009 and December 2013. Based on this review, the authors found that the facility-based maternal death audit approach has helped facility teams to identity causes of death and contributing factors, as well as make recommendations for action to prevent future deaths. They recommend that Rwanda better inform corrective actions by complementing these audits with other strategies, such as confidential enquiries and near-miss audits
This report, published by the African Union Commission and UN Women in May 2015, examines how maternal death audits or MDSR systems are being used to track gender inequalities. The researchers carried out in-depth interviews with key informants from five African countries, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia, as well as a documentary analysis of key documents. On the basis of the findings from this research, the document provides recommendations on ways these systems can be used to monitor more effectively gender-related contributors and how to mainstream gender in MDSR systems in Africa.
This article by Sunil Saksena Raj and colleagues, published by the International Journal of Health Policy and Management in January 2015, presents the findings of verbal autopsies carried out in Unnao District between 2009 and 2010. The findings point to the need to improve the inter-facility referral system.