Tag Archives: perinatal audit

Legal and policy frameworks that support MDSR: Series

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

“Taking a human-rights based approach to health, making maternal death a notifiable event in law, and supporting this with policies for maternal death review, analysis and follow-up action, creates the preconditions necessary for successful implementation [of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR)]”¹ (p.31).

While death review systems may draw from international guidance and be standardised to an extent across countries, legal regulations can vary and can support or hinder access to information, the conduct of an audit and the response to findings². Fear of litigation, can prevent the objective review of maternal deaths³, so having legal protection in place and ensuring an anonymous environment can encourage the sharing of information and involvement of health care workers in the MDSR system³. Similar principles can also support the investigation of stillbirths and neonatal deaths².

To gain a better understanding of how legal and policy frameworks support the successful implementation of MDSR, we developed a three-part series, publishing:


¹ World Health Organization. (2016). Time to respond: a report on the global implementation of maternal death surveillance and response. Geneva: WHO.

² World Health Organization. (2016). Making every baby count: audit and review of stillbirths and neonatal deaths. Geneva: WHO

³ World Health Organization. (2013). Maternal death surveillance and response: technical guidance. Information for action to prevent maternal death. Geneva: WHO.