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  1. 26
    Peer Reviewed

    HIV risk and pre-exposure prophylaxis interest among female bar workers in Dar es Salaam: cross-sectional survey.

    Harling G; Muya A; Ortblad KF; Mashasi I; Dambach P; Ulenga N; Barnhart D; Mboggo E; Oldenburg CE; Barnighausen T; Spiegelman D

    BMJ Open. 2019 Mar 20; 9(3):e023272.

    OBJECTIVE: Female bar workers (FBW) in East Africa often conduct sex work to supplement their incomes, and may be vulnerable to HIV acquisition. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offers protection against HIV acquisition. However, there is little research on FBW's sexual health. Our objective was to determine HIV risk behaviours and interest in PrEP among FBW in the largest city in East Africa. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey covering respondents' work and personal lives, including social and behavioural risk factors for HIV. The survey aimed to determine the feasibility of working with FBW and HIV prevalence estimates. Those who did not report being HIV positive were asked about their knowledge of and interest in PrEP. All women were offered free on-site HIV testing and counselling (HTC). SETTING: Eight randomly selected workplaces, that is, bars, in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam (DSM). PARTICIPANTS: 66 FBW (>/=18 years) selected at random from all women working in selected bars on the day of visit. RESULTS: Half of respondents reported having had sex for money: 20% with bar clients only, 15% with other men only and 15% with both. Almost all (98%) reported >/=1 non-commercial partners in the past 12 months; only 30% reported using condoms with these partners. 85% of respondents had ever been pregnant; 44% had had an unintended pregnancy. Only 5% of respondents had ever heard of PrEP. However, 54% were somewhat/very interested in daily-pill PrEP and 79% were somewhat/very interested in long-acting injectable PrEP. When asked to rank modalities, long-acting injectable PrEP was the most preferred. Seven per cent of the 56 respondents who completed HTC tested HIV positive. CONCLUSIONS: FBW in DSM have elevated risk factors for HIV acquisition, and PrEP appears highly acceptable. Studies developing PrEP delivery models and assessing PrEP initiation and adherence in FBW appear warranted. (c) Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
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  2. 27
    Peer Reviewed

    Mismatch between antenatal care attendance and institutional delivery in south Ethiopia: A multilevel analysis.

    Asefa A; Gebremedhin S; Messele T; Letamo Y; Shibru E; Alano A; Morgan A; Kermode M

    BMJ Open. 2019 Mar 20; 9(3):e024783.

    OBJECTIVES: Uptake of maternal health services remains suboptimal in Ethiopia. Significant proportions of antenatal care attendees give birth at home. This study was conducted to identify the predictors of non-institutional delivery among women who received antenatal care in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region, Ethiopia. DESIGN: A community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among women who delivered in the year preceding the survey and who had at least one antenatal visit. Multistage cluster sampling was deployed to select 2390 women from all administrative zones of the region. A mixed-effects multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the predictors of non-institutional delivery; adjusted ORs (AOR) with 95% CIs are reported. RESULTS: The proportion of non-institutional deliveries among participants was 62.2% (95% CI 60.2% to 64.2%). Previous experience of short and simple labour (46.9%) and uncomplicated home birth (42.9%), night-time labour (29.7%), absence of pregnancy-related problem (18.8%) and perceived providers poor reception of women (17.8%) were the main reasons to have non-institutional delivery. Attending secondary school and above (AOR=0.51; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.85), being a government employee (AOR=0.27; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.78) and woman's autonomy in healthcare utilisation decision making (AOR=0.51; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.79) were among the independent predictors negatively associated with non-institutional delivery. On the other hand, unplanned pregnancy (AOR=1.67; 95% CI 1.16 to 2.42), not experiencing any health problem during pregnancy (AOR=8.1; 95% CI 3.12 to 24.62), not perceiving the risks associated with home delivery (AOR=6.64; 95% CI 4.35 to 10.14) were the independent predictors positively associated with non-institutional delivery. CONCLUSIONS: There is a missed opportunity among women attending antenatal care in southern Ethiopia. Further health system innovations that help to bridge the gap between antenatal care attendance and institutional delivery are highly recommended. (c) Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
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  3. 28
    Peer Reviewed

    Intention toward optimal breastfeeding among expecting mothers in Angul district of Odisha, India.

    Behera D; Pillai AK

    Indian Journal of Public Health. 2016 Jan-Mar; 60(1):81-5.

    This paper aims to assess the prenatal breastfeeding intention and its predictors in Odisha, a state in India. Data were collected from 218 rural pregnant women of Angul district of Odisha, India in 2012. About 33% of the women lacked the intention to exclusively breastfeed their babies for 6 months. Prelacteal feeding was intended by one-third of the women while 61.5% of the women intended to feed water during the first 6 months of birth. Women of an older age [odds ratio (OR) = 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.09-1.55], with more education (OR = 1.14; 95% CI = 1.08-1.32), belonging to lower castes [other backward caste (OBC)-OR = 21.33; 95% CI = 4.29-106.0, scheduled caste (SC)-OR = 22.77; 95% CI = 2.47-199.1, scheduled tribe (ST)-OR = 26.16; 95% CI = 4.10-174.8), and lesser number of living sons (OR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.22-0.94) were more likely to have a higher intention for optimal breastfeeding than those of a lower age, with less education, belonging to a higher caste, and with more number of living sons. Awareness generation programs need to be strengthened to educate pregnant women with appropriate and recommended breastfeeding guidelines to establish optimal breastfeeding practices.
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  4. 29
    Peer Reviewed

    Integrated prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services, antiretroviral therapy initiation, and maternal and infant retention in care in rural north-central Nigeria: a cluster-randomised controlled trial.

    Aliyu MH; Blevins M; Audet CM; Kalish M; Gebi UI; Onwujekwe O; Lindegren ML; Shepherd BE; Wester CW; Vermund SH

    Lancet. HIV. 2016 May; 3(5):e202-11.

    BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and retention in care are essential for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). We aimed to assess the effect of a family-focused, integrated PMTCT care package. METHODS: In this parallel, cluster-randomised controlled trial, we pair-matched 12 primary and secondary level health-care facilities located in rural north-central Nigeria. Clinic pairs were randomly assigned to intervention or standard of care (control) by computer-generated sequence. HIV-infected women (and their infants) presenting for antenatal care or delivery were included if they had unknown HIV status at presentation (there was no age limit for the study, but the youngest participant was 16 years old); history of antiretroviral prophylaxis or treatment, but not receiving these at presentation; or known HIV status but had never received treatment. Standard of care included health information, opt-out HIV testing, infant feeding counselling, referral for CD4 cell counts and treatment, home-based services, antiretroviral prophylaxis, and early infant diagnosis. The intervention package added task shifting, point-of-care CD4 testing, integrated mother and infant service provision, and male partner and community engagement. The primary outcomes were the proportion of eligible women who initiated ART and the proportion of women and their infants retained in care at 6 weeks and 12 weeks post partum (assessed by generalised linear mixed effects model with random effects for matched clinic pairs). The trial is registered with, number NCT01805752. FINDINGS: Between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, we enrolled 369 eligible women (172 intervention, 197 control), similar across groups for marital status, duration of HIV diagnosis, and distance to facility. Median CD4 count was 424 cells per muL (IQR 268-606) in the intervention group and 314 cells per muL (245-406) in the control group (p<0.0001). Of the 369 women included in the study, 363 (98%) had WHO clinical stage 1 disease, 364 (99%) had high functional status, and 353 (96%) delivered vaginally. Mothers in the intervention group were more likely to initiate ART (166 [97%] vs 77 [39%]; adjusted relative risk 3.3, 95% CI 1.4-7.8). Mother and infant pairs in the intervention group were more likely to be retained in care at 6 weeks (125 [83%] of 150 vs 15 [9%] of 170; adjusted relative risk 9.1, 5.2-15.9) and 12 weeks (112 [75%] of 150 vs 11 [7%] of 168 pairs; 10.3, 5.4-19.7) post partum. INTERPRETATION: This integrated, family-focused PMTCT service package improved maternal ART initiation and mother and infant retention in care. An effective approach to improve the quality of PMTCT service delivery will positively affect global goals for the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission. FUNDING: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and US National Institutes of Health. Copyright (c) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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  5. 30
    Peer Reviewed

    Comparison of satisfaction with maternal health-care services using different health insurance schemes in aceh province, Indonesia.

    Kesuma ZM; Chongsuvivatwong V

    Indian Journal of Public Health. 2016 Jul-Sep; 60(3):195-202.

    BACKGROUND: An insurance scheme called Jaminan Kesehatan Aceh (JKA) was established by the local government to achieve universal coverage for Aceh's population who were not registered under the national insurance scheme for the poor (Jamkesmas). OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to compare women's satisfaction before and after the implementation of JKA and across different insurance schemes. METHODS: The study was conducted from July 2011 to July 2012 on satisfaction of maternal health services among 1197, 15-49 years aged old women living in eight districts of Aceh Province, Indonesia, and a cluster sampling technique was applied. Analysis of variance was used to assess the effects of different insurance schemes, period, and type of services on satisfaction with maternal health services. RESULTS: Women were mostly satisfied with birth delivery services (mean score: 2.69) followed by postnatal care (mean score: 2.62) and antenatal care services (mean score: 2.37). CONCLUSION: Over the changing period, the average level of satisfaction in the JKA group increased significantly.
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  6. 31
    Peer Reviewed

    Complementary Feeding and Diarrhea and Respiratory Infection Among HIV-Exposed Tanzanian Infants.

    Kamenju P; Liu E; Hertzmark E; Spiegelman D; Kisenge RR; Kupka R; Aboud S; Manji K; Duggan C; Fawzi WW

    Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2017 Mar 1; 74(3):265-272.

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between complementary feeding and risks of diarrhea and acute respiratory infection (ARI) among HIV-exposed infants aged 6-24 months. DESIGN: We prospectively used an Infant and Child Feeding Index (ICFI) to measure complementary feeding practices (breastfeeding status, food consistency, dietary diversity, food group frequency, and meal frequency). We determined the association of ICFI and each of its components with the risk of diarrhea and ARI. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate the relative risks for morbidity episodes. SETTING: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. SUBJECTS: A total of 2092 HIV-exposed infants followed from 6 months of age to 24 months of age. RESULTS: The ICFI score ranged from 0 to 9; the median score was 6 (interquartile range = 4-7). Low ICFI scores were likely associated with increased risk of dysentery [low vs. high tertile risk ratio (RR): 1.40; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93 to 2.10; P for trend = 0.02] and respiratory infection (low vs. high tertile RR: 1.16; 95% CI: 0.96 to 1.41; P for trend = 0.01). Low dietary diversity scores were likely associated with higher risk of dysentery (low vs. high tertile RR: 1.47; 95% CI: 0.92 to 2.35; P for trend = 0.03) and respiratory infection (low vs. high tertile RR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.76; P for trend = 0.01). Low food consistency scores were associated with higher risk of respiratory infection (RR: 1.77; 95% CI: 1.40 to 2.26; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In this setting, low ICFI, dietary diversity, and food consistency scores were likely associated with increased risk of diarrhea and ARI among HIV-exposed infants.
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  7. 32
    Peer Reviewed

    Breastfeeding Recommended Despite HIV Infection.

    Kent G

    Midwifery. 2018 May; 60:e1.

    The author expresses their concerns with a recent article "I was told not to do it but…': Infant feeding practices amongst HIV-positive women in southern Thailand."
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  8. 33
    Peer Reviewed

    Male partner attendance at antenatal care and adherence to antenatal care guidelines: secondary analysis of 2011 Ethiopian demographic and health survey data.

    Forbes F; Wynter K; Wade C; Zeleke BM; Fisher J

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 May 9; 18(1):145.

    BACKGROUND: Complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period present a significant and complex public health problem in low income countries such as Ethiopia. One strategy endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to improve maternal and child health outcomes is to encourage male partner involvement in pregnancy care. This research aimed to explore the relationships between 1) male attendance at antenatal care and 2) socio-economic and women's empowerment factors and adherence to focused antenatal care guidelines among women receiving care in Ethiopia. METHODS: Secondary analysis of 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data. A sub-sample of couples with a child aged 0-2 years old, for whom women attended at least one antenatal care (ANC) appointment was selected. Predictor variables on socio-economic position, demographic and women's empowerment factors, and male attendance at antenatal care were identified. Six outcome variables were constructed to indicate whether or not women: commenced ANC in the first trimester, attended at least four ANC appointments, received a urine test, received a blood test, were counselled on potential complications during pregnancy and met these focused antenatal care guidelines. Binary logistic regression was performed to estimate the relationship between the predictor and outcome variables. RESULTS: After controlling for other factors, women whose partners attended ANC were significantly more likely to receive urine and blood tests and be counselled about pregnancy complications compared to women who attended alone. Male attendance was not associated with women commencing care in the first trimester or attending at least four appointments. Although more women whose male partners had attended appointments received all recommended components of ANC than those who attended alone, this association was not significant. CONCLUSIONS: The results revealed some benefits and did not detect harms from including male partners in focused antenatal care. Including men may require changes to maternal healthcare systems and training of healthcare workers, to adopt 'father inclusive' practices. Given the limited research in this area, large population studies including the DHS routinely carried out in Ethiopia could enhance knowledge by including more detailed indicators of male involvement in pregnancy, maternal and child healthcare and early child development.
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  9. 34
    Peer Reviewed

    Decision-making for birth location among women in Pakistan: evidence from national survey.

    Iftikhar Ul Husnain M; Rashid M; Shakoor U

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Jun 14; 18(1):226.

    BACKGROUND: Pakistan ranks 149th in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and has failed to keep pace with other countries in the region, except Afghanistan, with respect to health indicators. Home deliveries are linked to a higher risk of maternal death; therefore, discouraging home deliveries is imperative to improve maternal health. This study provides a holistic view and analyses factors affecting home birth decisions within the context of maternal socio-demographic characteristics in Pakistan. METHODS: The study exploits the latest data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (2012-2013), which includes a nationally representative sample of 13,558 women aged 15-49 years. However, the sample was reduced to 6977 women who had given birth in the 5 years preceding the survey. Statistical techniques, including bi-variate and multivariate logistic regression, were used to analyse the data. The dependent variable was dichotomous and coded as 0 for home deliveries and 1 for deliveries at a health facility. The dependent variable was constructed based on information regarding the most recent birth in the 5 years preceding the survey. RESULTS: The study reveals that giving birth at home is highly prevalent among mothers in Pakistan (Baluchistan, 74%; Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 53%; Gilgit Baltistan, 46%; Punjab, 45% and Sindh, 34%) because of their difficulty obtaining permission to visit a health facility, financial barriers, the distance to health facilities and transportation. Substantial variation is observed when geo-demographic characteristics are considered. Higher home childbirth rates have been recorded in rural areas compared with those in urban areas (OR 1.32; p
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  10. 35
    Peer Reviewed

    Optimal profile limits for maternal mortality rate (MMR) in South Sudan.

    Makuei G; Abdollahian M; Marion K

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Jul 3; 18(1):278.

    BACKGROUND: Reducing Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is considered by the international community as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. Based on previous studies, Skilled Assistant at Birth (SAB), General Fertility Rate (GFR) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) have been identified as the most significant predictors of MMR in South Sudan. This paper aims for the first time to develop profile limits for the MMR in terms of significant predictors SAB, GFR, and GDP. The paper provides the optimal values of SAB and GFR for a given MMR level. METHODS: Logarithmic multi- regression model is used to model MMR in terms of SAB, GFR and GDP. Data from 1986 to 2015 collected from Juba Teaching Hospital was used to develop the model for predicting MMR. Optimization procedures are deployed to attain the optimal level of SAB and GFR for a given MMR level. MATLAB was used to conduct the optimization procedures. The optimized values were then used to develop lower and upper profile limits for yearly MMR, SAB and GFR. RESULTS: The statistical analysis shows that increasing SAB by 1.22% per year would decrease MMR by 1.4% (95% CI (0.4-5%)) decreasing GFR by 1.22% per year would decrease MMR by 1.8% (95% CI (0.5-6.26%)). The results also indicate that to achieve the UN recommended MMR levels of minimum 70 and maximum 140 by 2030, the government should simultaneously reduce GFR from the current value of 175 to 97 and 75, increase SAB from the current value of 19 to 50 and 76. CONCLUSIONS: This study for the first time has deployed optimization procedures to develop lower and upper yearly profile limits for maternal mortality rate targeting the UN recommended lower and upper MMR levels by 2030. The MMR profile limits have been accompanied by the profile limits for optimal yearly values of SAB and GFR levels. Having the optimal level of predictors that significantly influence the maternal mortality rate can effectively aid the government and international organizations to make informed evidence-based decisions on resources allocation and intervention plans to reduce the risk of maternal death.
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  11. 36
    Peer Reviewed

    Program assessment of efforts to improve the quality of postpartum counselling in health centers in Morogoro region, Tanzania.

    LeFevre A; Mpembeni R; Kilewo C; Yang A; An S; Mohan D; Mosha I; Besana G; Lipingu C; Callaghan-Koru J; Silverman M; Winch PJ; George AS

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Jul 4; 18(1):282.

    BACKGROUND: The postpartum period represents a critical window where many maternal and child deaths occur. We assess the quality of postpartum care (PPC) as well as efforts to improve service delivery through additional training and supervision in Health Centers (HCs) in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. METHODS: Program implementers purposively selected nine program HCs for assessment with another nine HCs in the region remaining as comparison sites in a non-randomized program evaluation. PPC quality was assessed by examining structural inputs; provider and client profiles; processes (PNC counselling) and outcomes (patient knowledge) through direct observations of equipment, supplies and infrastructure (n = 18) and PPC counselling (n = 45); client exit interviews (n = 41); a provider survey (n = 62); and in-depth provider interviews (n = 10). RESULTS: While physical infrastructure, equipment and supplies were comparable across study sites (with water and electricity limitations), program areas had better availability of drugs and commodities. Overall, provider availability was also similar across study sites, with 63% of HCs following staffing norms, 17% of Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) providers absent and 14% of those providing PPC being unqualified to do so. In the program area, a median of 4 of 10 RCH providers received training. Despite training and supervisory inputs to program area HCs, provider and client knowledge of PPC was low and the content of PPC counseling provided limited to 3 of 80 PPC messages in over half the consultations observed. Among women attending PPC, 29 (71%) had delivered in a health facility and sought care a median of 13 days after delivery. Barriers to PPC care seeking included perceptions that PPC was of limited benefit to women and was primarily about child health, geographic distance, gaps in the continuity of care, and harsh facility treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Program training and supervision activities had a modest effect on the quality of PPC. To achieve broader transformation in PPC quality, client perceptions about the value of PPC need to be changed; the content of recommended PPC messages reviewed along with the location for PPC services; gaps in the availability of human resources addressed; and increased provider-client contact encouraged.
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  12. 37
    Peer Reviewed

    Safe Birth and Cultural Safety in southern Mexico: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

    Sarmiento I; Paredes-Solis S; Andersson N; Cockcroft A

    Trials. 2018 Jul 4; 19(1):354.

    BACKGROUND: Indigenous women in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero face poor maternal health outcomes. Living as they do at the very periphery of the Western health system, they often receive low-quality care from health services that lack human and financial resources. Traditional health systems remain active in indigenous communities where traditional midwives accompany women through motherhood. Several interventions have explored training birth attendants in Western birthing skills, but little research has focussed on supporting traditional midwives by recognising their knowledge. This trial supports traditional midwifery in four indigenous groups and measures its impact on maternal health outcomes. METHODS: The study includes four indigenous populations in the State of Guerrero (Nahua, Na savi/Mixteco, Me'phaa/Tlapaneco and Nancue nomndaa/Amuzgo), covering approximately 8000 households. A parallel-group cluster-randomised controlled trial will compare communities receiving usual care with communities where traditional midwives received support in addition to the usual care. The intervention was defined in collaboration with participants in a 2012 pilot study. Supported midwives will receive a small stipend, a scholarship to train one apprentice, and support from an intercultural broker to deal with Western health personnel; additionally, the health staff in the intervention municipalities will participate in workshops to improve understanding and attitudes towards authentic traditional midwives. A baseline and a final survey will measure changes in birth and pregnancy complications (primary outcomes), and changes in gender violence, access to healthcare, and engagement with traditional cultural activities (secondary outcomes). The project has ethical approval from the participating communities and the Universidad Autonoma de Guerrero. DISCUSSION: Indigenous women at the periphery of Western health services do not benefit fully from the attenuated services which erode their own healthcare traditions. Western health service providers in indigenous communities often ignore traditional knowledge and resources, inadvertently or in ignorance, disrespecting indigenous cultures. Improved understanding between midwives and the official healthcare system can contribute to more appropriate referral of high-risk cases, improving the use of scarce resources while lowering costs of healthcare for indigenous families. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN12397283 . Retrospectively registered on 6 December 2016.
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  13. 38
    Peer Reviewed

    The role of community-based health services in influencing postnatal care visits in the Builsa and the West Mamprusi districts in rural Ghana.

    Sakeah E; Aborigo R; Sakeah JK; Dalaba M; Kanyomse E; Azongo D; Anaseba D; Oladokun S; Oduro AR

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Jul 9; 18(1):295.

    BACKGROUND: Globally, maternal mortality is still a challenge. In Ghana, maternal morbidity and mortality rates remain high, particularly in rural areas. Postnatal Care (PNC) is one of the key strategies for improving maternal health. This study examined determinants of at least three PNC visits in rural Ghana. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study at the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Zones in the Builsa and West Mamprusi Districts between April and June 2016. We selected 650 women who delivered within 5 years preceding the survey (325 from each of the two sites) using the two-stage random sampling technique. RESULTS: Of the 650 respondents, 62% reported attending postnatal care at least three times. In the Builsa district, the percentage of women who made at least three PNC visits were 90% compared with 35% in the West Mamprusi district. Older women and those who attended antenatal clinics at least four times (AOR: 5.23; 95% CI: 2.49-11.0) and women who had partners with some secondary education (AOR: 3.31; 95% CI: 1.17-9.39) were associated with at least three PNC visits. CONCLUSIONS: Men engagement in maternal health services and the introduction of home-based PNC services in rural communities could help health workers reach out to many mothers and children promptly and improve PNC visits in those communities.
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  14. 39
    Peer Reviewed

    Underreporting of stillbirths in Pakistan: perspectives of the parents, community and healthcare providers.

    Zakar MZ; Zakar R; Mustafa M; Jalil A; Fischer F

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Jul 16; 18(1):302.

    BACKGROUND: Pakistan has the highest rate of stillbirths globally. Not much attention has been given so far to exploring the sociocultural factors hindering the reportage of stillbirths and the causes of death. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the perspectives of parents, communities and healthcare providers regarding the sociocultural practices and health system-related factors contributing to stillbirths and their underreporting. METHODS: This study used a qualitative approach including in-depth interviews and 14 focus group discussions to collect data from four districts of Pakistan. We conducted 285 in-depth interviews and 14 focus group discussions with health professionals - mainly active in the areas of maternal and child health - and parents who had experienced stillbirth. Constant comparative method and analytical induction method were performed to analyze the data. RESULTS: The results of this study show that stillbirth is frequently misclassified and, therefore, an underreported phenomenon in Pakistan. It is an outcome of sociocultural practices, such as the social meaning of stillbirth and their understanding about the conflict between cultural and medical anatomy. In addition to grief and psychological distress, it endangers the maternal identity and worth in society in contrast to the mothers of live-born children. CONCLUSION: The misclassification of stillbirth, especially by healthcare providers, is a significant impediment to designing preventive strategies for stillbirth. We recommend that the reporting system for stillbirth should be aligned with the WHO definition of stillbirth to avoid its underreporting. Reporting procedures at a more administrative level need to be made uniform and simplified.
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  15. 40
    Peer Reviewed

    A model for predicting utilization of mHealth interventions in low-resource settings: case of maternal and newborn care in Kenya.

    Mburu S; Oboko R

    BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. 2018 Jul 17; 18(1):67.

    BACKGROUND: In low-resource settings, there are numerous socioeconomic challenges such as poverty, inadequate facilities, shortage of skilled health workers, illiteracy and cultural barriers that contribute to high maternal and newborn deaths. To address these challenges, there are several mHealth projects particularly in Sub-Sahara Africa seeking to exploit opportunities provided by over 90% rate of mobile penetration. However, most of these interventions have failed to justify their value proposition to inspire utilization in low-resource settings. METHODS: This study proposes a theoretical model named Technology, Individual, Process-Fit (TIPFit) suitable for user-centred evaluation of intervention designs to predict utilization of mHealth products in low-resource settings. To investigate the predictive power of TIPFit model, we operationalized its latent constructs into variables used to predict utilization of an mHealth prototype called mamacare. The study employed single-group repeated measures quasi-experiment in which a random sample of 79 antenatal and postnatal patients were recruited from a rural hospital. During the study conducted between May and October 2014, the treatment involved sending and receiving SMS alerts on vital signs, appointments, safe delivery, danger signs, nutrition, preventive care and adherence to medication. RESULTS: Measurements taken during the study were cleaned and coded for analysis using statistical models like Partial Least Squares (PLS), Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance (RM-ANOVA), and Bonferroni tests. After analyzing 73 pretest responses, the model predicted 80.2% fit, and 63.9% likelihood of utilization. However, results obtained from initial post-test taken after three months demonstrated 69.1% fit, and utilization of 50.5%. The variation between prediction and the actual outcome necessitated improvement of mamacare based on feedback obtained from users. Three months later, we conducted the second post-test that recorded further drop in fit from 69.1 to 60.3% but utilization marginally improved from 50.5 to 53.7%. CONCLUSIONS: Despite variations between the pretest and post-test outcomes, the study demonstrates that predictive approach to user-centred design offers greater flexibility in aligning design attributes of an mHealth intervention to fulfill user needs and expectations. These findings provide a unique contribution for decision makers because it is possible to prioritize investments among competing digital health projects.
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  16. 41
    Peer Reviewed

    Nutrition during pregnancy and early development (NuPED) in urban South Africa: a study protocol for a prospective cohort.

    Symington EA; Baumgartner J; Malan L; Zandberg L; Ricci C; Smuts CM

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Jul 24; 18(1):308.

    BACKGROUND: Adequate nutrition during pregnancy is important to ensure optimal birth outcomes, maternal health and offspring development. However, little is known about the dietary intake and nutritional status of pregnant women residing in urban South Africa. Therefore, the Nutrition during Pregnancy and Early Development (NuPED) cohort study was initiated to assess early nutrition-related exposures predictive of early childhood development in urban South Africa. METHODS: The aims of this prospective cohort study are: 1) to assess dietary intake and nutritional status of urban pregnant women in Johannesburg, South Africa, and 2) to determine associations with birth outcomes, measures of maternal health, as well as measures of offspring health and development. Pregnant women (< 18 weeks' gestation) (n = 250) are being recruited from primary healthcare clinics in Johannesburg and are followed-up at a provincial hospital. Participants' dietary intake and nutrient status (focus on micronutrients and fatty acids) are assessed at < 18, 22 and 36 weeks' gestation. Additional assessments during pregnancy include anthropometric and blood pressure measurements, obstetric ultrasound screens, and assessments of food security, maternal fatigue, prenatal depression, allergy, immune function, morbidity and gestational diabetes. At birth, maternal and neonatal health is assessed and an umbilical cord blood sample collected. Maternal and offspring health is followed-up at 6 weeks, as well as at 6, approximately 7.5 and 12 months after birth. Follow-up assessments of mothers include anthropometric measures, diet history, nutrient status, blood pressure, breast milk composition, and measures of postnatal depression and fatigue. Follow-up assessments of the offspring include feeding practices, nutrient status, measures of growth, psychomotor, socio-emotional and immune development, morbidity, allergy, as well as analysis of the gut microbiome and the epigenome. DISCUSSION: Ensuring adequate nutrition during pregnancy is one of the key actions endorsed by the South African Government to promote optimal early childhood development in an effort to eradicate poverty. The results from this study may serve as a basis for the development of context-specific nutritional interventions which can improve birth outcomes and long-term quality of life of the mother and her offspring.
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  17. 42
    Peer Reviewed

    We give water or porridge, but we don't really know what the child wants: a qualitative study on women's perceptions and practises regarding exclusive breastfeeding in Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania.

    Mgongo M; Hussein TH; Stray-Pedersen B; Vangen S; Msuya SE; Wandel M

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Aug 8; 18(1):323.

    BACKGROUND: World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) as the optimal way to feed infants below 6 months of age. The benefits of EBF are well documented. However, in Tanzania, EBF is still rarely practised. This study explored the knowledge, attitudes and practises of EBF among mothers in Kilimanjaro region of northern Tanzania. METHODS: This is a qualitative research study. The three districts in Kilimanjaro region namely Same, Moshi Municipal Council and Rombo districts were selected. In each district, three focus group discussions (FGDs) with mothers of infants aged 0-12 months were conducted. A total of 78 mothers participated in the focus group discussion. RESULTS: The main result is that most of the mothers had a theoretical knowledge of the benefits of EBF but were not able to practise this knowledge for a range of reasons. The reasons for not practising EBF in real life included poor maternal nutrition, the pressure for women to return to work, inadequate knowledge about expressing breast milk, and perceived insufficiency of milk supply. Additionally, mothers received conflicting advice from a range of sources including close relatives, community members and health care providers, and they often choose the advice of their elders. Mothers also offered suggestions on ways to improve EBF including educating the community on the benefits of EBF. CONCLUSION: The results show that the women need support from close relatives and employers to successfully practise EBF. This presents a need for involving close relatives in EBF interventions, as they are important sources of breastfeeding information in the community. Additionally, behavioural interventions that promote optimal breastfeeding practises might help to improve exclusive breastfeeding.
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  18. 43
    Peer Reviewed

    Systematic review of community participation interventions to improve maternal health outcomes in rural South Asia.

    Sharma BB; Jones L; Loxton DJ; Booth D; Smith R

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Aug 10; 18(1):327.

    BACKGROUND: This is a systematic review on the effectiveness of community interventions in improving maternal health care outcomes in South Asia. METHODS: We searched electronic databases to June 2017. Randomised or cluster randomised studies in communities within rural/remote areas of Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan were included. Data were analysed as risk ratios (RR) or odds ratios (OR), and effects were adjusted for clustering. Meta-analyses were performed using random-effects and evidence quality was assessed. RESULTS: Eleven randomised trials were included from 5440 citations. Meta-analysis of all community interventions combined compared with control showed a small improvement in the number of women attending at least one antenatal care visit (RR 1.19, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.33). Two community mobilisation sub groups: home care using both male and female mobilisers, and education by community mobilisers, improved the number of women attending at least one antenatal visit. There was no difference in the number of women attending at least one antenatal visit for any other subgroup. There was no difference in the number of women attending 3 or more antenatal visits for all community interventions combined, or any community subgroup. Likewise, there was no difference in attendance at birth between all community interventions combined and control. Health care facility births were modestly increased in women's education groups (adjusted RR (1.15, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.20; 2 studies)). Risk of maternal deaths after 2 years (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.64; 5 studies), and 3 years (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.52 to 2.36; 2 studies), were no different between women's education groups and control. Community level mobilisation rather than health care messages at district level improved the numbers of women giving birth at health care facilities (RR1.09 (95%CI 1.06 to 1.13; 1 study)). Maternal health care knowledge scores improved in two community-based interventions, one involving education of male community members. CONCLUSION: Women's education interventions may improve the number of women seeking birth at a health care facility, but the evidence is of low quality. No impact on maternal mortality was observed Future research should explore the effectiveness of including male mobilisers. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This systematic review is registered with PROSPERO CRD42016033201 .
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  19. 44
    Peer Reviewed

    Effects of midwife-led maternity services on postpartum wellbeing and clinical outcomes in primiparous women under China's one-child policy.

    Hua J; Zhu L; Du L; Li Y; Wu Z; Wo D; Du W

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Aug 13; 18(1):329.

    BACKGROUND: The Midwife-led maternity services have been implemented in China in response to the high rates of primiparous women and Caesarean Sections (CS) which may be related to China's one-child policy. However, few studies in China have been reported on the effectiveness of Midwife-led Care at Delivery (MCD) and the Continuity of Midwife-led Care (CMC) on postpartum wellbeing and other clinical outcomes. Therefore, evidence-based clinical validation is needed to develop an optimal maternity service for childbearing women in China. METHODS: A concurrent cohort study design was conducted with 1730 pregnant women recruited from 9 hospitals in Shanghai. Among the 1730 participants at baseline, 1568 participants completed the follow-up questionnaire, with a follow-up rate of 90.6%. RESULTS: Compared with the routine Obstetrician-led Maternity Care (OMC), Midwife-led Care at Delivery (MCD) was associated with CS rate (OR were 0.16; 95%CI: 0.11 to 0.25) and a higher total score of postpartum wellbeing (betawere 2.70; 95%CI: 0.70 to 4.70) when adjusting for the baseline differences and other confounders during delivery or postpartum period. Moreover, continuity of Midwife-led Care (CMC) was associated with CS rate (OR were 0.30; 95%CI: 0.23 to 0.41), as well as increased rate of breastfeeding within the first 24 h (OR were 2.49; 95% CI: 1.47 to 4.23), higher postpartum satisfaction (beta = 4.52; 95% CI: 1.60 to 12.68), lower anxiety (betawere 0.66; 95% CI: 0.16 to 1.17), increased self-control (betawere 0.39; 95% CI: 0.02 to 0.76) and a higher total score of postpartum wellbeing (betawere 3.14; 95% CI: 1.54 to 4.75). CONCLUSION: CMC is the optimal service for low-risk primiparous women under China's one-child policy, and is worthwhile for a general implementation across China.
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  20. 45
    Peer Reviewed

    Understanding intersections of social determinants of maternal healthcare utilization in Uttar Pradesh, India.

    Dey A; Hay K; Afroz B; Chandurkar D; Singh K; Dehingia N; Raj A; Silverman JG

    PloS One. 2018; 13(10):e0204810.

    OBJECTIVE: To explore intersections of social determinants of maternal healthcare utilization using the Classification and Regression Trees (CART) algorithm which is a machine-learning method used to construct prediction models. METHODS: Institutional review board approval for this study was granted from Public Health Service-Ethical Review Board (PHS-ERB) and from the Health Ministry Screening Committee (HMSC) facilitated by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). IRB review and approval for the current analyses was obtained from University of California, San Diego. Cross-sectional data were collected from women with children aged 0-11 months (n = 5,565) from rural households in 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. Participants were surveyed on maternal healthcare utilization including registration of pregnancy (model-1), receipt of antenatal care (ANC) during pregnancy (model-2), and delivery at health facilities (model -3). Social determinants of health including wealth, social group, literacy, religion, and early age at marriage were captured during the survey. The Classification and Regression Tree (CART) algorithm was used to explore intersections of social determinants of healthcare utilization. RESULTS: CART analyses highlight the intersections, particularly of wealth and literacy, in maternal healthcare utilization in Uttar Pradesh. Model-1 documents that women who are poorer, illiterate and Muslim are less likely to have their pregnancies registered (71.4% vs. 86.0% in the overall sample). Model-2 documents that poorer, illiterate women had the lowest ANC coverage (37.7% vs 45% in the overall sample). Model-3, developed for deliveries at health facilities, highlighted that illiterate and poor women have the lowest representation among facility deliveries (59.6% vs. 69% in the overall sample). CONCLUSION: This paper explores the interactions between determinants of maternal healthcare utilization indicators. The findings in this paper highlights that the interaction of wealth and literacy can play a very strong role in accentuating or diminishing healthcare utilization among women. The study also reveals that religion and women's age at marriage also interact with wealth and literacy to create substantial disparities in utilization. The study provides insights into the effect of intersections of determinants, and highlights the importance of using a more nuanced understanding of the impact of co-occurring forms of marginalization to effectively tackle inequities in healthcare utilization.
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  21. 46
    Peer Reviewed

    A reassessment of global antenatal care coverage for improving maternal health using sub-Saharan Africa as a case study.

    Ataguba JE

    PloS One. 2018; 13(10):e0204822.

    BACKGROUND: Antenatal period is an opportunity for reaching pregnant women with vital interventions. In fact, antenatal care (ANC) coverage was an indicator for assessing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. This paper applies a novel index of service coverage using ANC, which accounts for every ANC visit. An index of service coverage gap is also proposed. These indices are additively decomposable by population groups and they are sensitive to the receipt of more ANC visits below a defined threshold. These indices have also been generalised to account for the quality of services. METHODS: Data from recent rounds of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) are used to reassess ANC service coverage in 35 sub-Saharan African countries. An index of ANC coverage was estimated. These countries were ranked, and their ranks are compared with those based on attaining at least four ANC visits (ANC4+). FINDINGS: The index of ANC coverage reflected the level of service coverage in countries. Further, disparities exist in country ranking as some countries, e.g. Cameroon, Benin Republic and Nigeria are ranked better using the ANC4+ indicator but poorly using the proposed index. Also, Rwanda and Malawi are ranked better using the proposed index. CONCLUSION: The proposed ANC index allows for the assessment of progressive realisation, rooted in the move towards universal health coverage. In fact, the index reflects progress that countries make in increasing service coverage. This is because every ANC visit counts. Beyond ANC coverage, the proposed index is applicable to assessing service coverage generally including quality education.
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  22. 47
    Peer Reviewed

    Maternal mortality in Ifakara Health and Demographic Surveillance System: Spatial patterns, trends and risk factors, 2006 - 2010.

    Manyeh AK; Nathan R; Nelson G

    PloS One. 2018; 13(10):e0205370.

    INTRODUCTION: Maternal mortality was the subject of the United Nations' fifth Millennium Development Goal which was to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters from 1990 to 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), target 3.1 requires participating countries to reduce their maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. Although much research has been conducted, knowing the spatial patterns and risk factors associated with maternal mortality in developing countries helps target scarce resources and intervention programmes to high risk areas for the greatest impact. METHODS: Data were analysed from a longitudinal open cohort of women aged 15 to 49 years, enrolled from 2006 to 2010. An inverse distance weighted method of interpolation was used to assess spatial patterns of maternal mortality. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify risk factors associated with maternal mortality. RESULTS: The overall maternal mortality rate for the 36 792 study participants for the five years was 0.79 per 1000 person years. The trend declined from 90.42 in 2006 to 57.42 in 2010. Marked geographical differences were observed in maternal mortality patterns. The main causes of maternal death were eclampsia (23%), haemorrhage (22%) and abortion-related complications (10%). There was a reduced risk of 82% (HR = 0.18, 95% CI:0.05-0.74) and 78% (HR = 0.22, 95% CI:0.05-0.92) for women aged 20-29 and 30-39 years, respectively, compared with those younger than 20 years. While being married had a protective effect of 94% (HR = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.01-0.51) compared with being single, women who were widowed had an increased risk of maternal death of 913% (HR = 9.13, 95% CI: 1.02-81.94). Women who belong to poorer, poor and least poor socioeconomic quintile had 84%, 71% and 72% reduction in risk of maternal mortality respectively compared to those in the poorest category (HR = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.06-0.42; HR = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.12-0.69; HR = 0.28, 95% CI: 0.10-0.80). CONCLUSION: Maternal mortality has declined in rural southern Tanzania since 2006, with geographical differences in patterns of death. Eclampsia, haemorrhage and abortion-related complications are the three leading causes of maternal death in the region, with risk factors being younger than 20 years, being single or widowed, and having a low socioeconomic status.
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  23. 48
    Peer Reviewed

    Nursing knowledge of essential maternal and newborn care in a high-mortality urban African setting: A cross-sectional study.

    Murphy GAV; Gathara D; Mwaniki A; Nabea G; Mwachiro J; Abuya N; English M

    Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2019 Mar; 28(5-6):882-893.

    AIMS: To assess the knowledge of nurses of national guidelines for emergency maternity, routine newborn and small and sick newborn care in Nairobi County, Kenya. BACKGROUND: The vast majority of women deliver in a health facility in Nairobi. Yet, maternal and neonatal mortality remain high. Ensuring competency of health workers, in providing essential maternal and newborn interventions in health facilities will be key if further progress is to be made in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in low-resource settings. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. METHODS: Questionnaires comprised of clinical vignettes and direct questions and were administered in 2015-2016 to nurses (n = 125 in 31 facilities) on duty in maternity and newborn units in public and private facilities providing 24/7 inpatient neonatal services. Composite knowledge scores were calculated and presented as weighted means. Associations were explored using regression. STROBE guidelines were followed. RESULTS: Nurses scored best for knowledge on active management of the mother after birth and immediate routine newborn care. Performance was worst for questions on infant resuscitation, checking signs and symptoms of sick newborns, and managing hypertension in pregnancy. Overall knowledge of care for sick newborns was particularly low (score 0.62 of 1). Across all areas assessed, nurses who had received training since qualifying performed better than those who had not. Poorly resourced and low case-load facilities had lower average knowledge scores compared with better-resourced and busier facilities. CONCLUSION: Overall, we estimate that 31% of maternity patients, 3% of newborns and 39% of small and sick newborns are being cared for in an environment where nursing knowledge is very low (score <0.6). RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Focus on periodic training, ensuring retention of knowledge and skills among health workers in low-case load setting, and bridging the know-do gap may help to improve the quality of care delivered to mothers and newborns in Kenya. (c) 2018 The Authors Journal of Clinical Nursing Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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  24. 49
    Peer Reviewed

    Evaluation of a maternity waiting home and community education program in two districts of Malawi.

    Singh K; Speizer IS; Kim ET; Lemani C; Tang JH; Phoya A

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Nov 23; 18(1):457.

    BACKGROUND: The implementation of Maternity Waiting Homes (MWHs) is a strategy to bring vulnerable women close to a health facility towards the end of their pregnancies. To date, while MWHs are a popular strategy, there is limited evidence on the role that MWHs play in reaching women most in need. This paper contributes to this topic by examining whether two program-supported MWHs in Malawi are reaching women in need and if there are changes in women reached over time. METHODS: Two rounds of exit interviews (2015 and 2017) were conducted with women within 3 months of delivery and included both MWH users and non-MWH users. These exit interviews included questions on sociodemographic factors, obstetric risk factors and use of health services. Bivariate statistics were used to compare MWH users and non-MWH users at baseline and endline and over time. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine what factors were associated with MWH use, and Poisson regression was used to study factors associated with HIV knowledge. Descriptive data from discharge surveys were used to examine satisfaction with the MWH structure and environment over time. RESULTS: Primiparous women were more likely to use a MWH compared to women of parity 2 (p < 0.05). Women who were told they were at risk of a complication were more likely to use a MWH compared to those who were not told they were at risk (p < 0.05). There were also significant findings for wealth and time to a facility, with poorer women and those who lived further from a facility being more likely to use a MWH. Attendance at a community event was associated with greater knowledge of HIV (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: MWHs have a role to play in efforts to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality. Education provided within the MWHs and through community outreach can improve knowledge of important health topics. Malawi and other low and middle income countries must ensure that health facilities affiliated with the MWHs offer high quality services.
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  25. 50
    Peer Reviewed

    Incidence of maternal near miss in the public health sector of Harare, Zimbabwe: a prospective descriptive study.

    Chikadaya H; Madziyire MG; Munjanja SP

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Nov 26; 18(1):458.

    BACKGROUND: Maternal 'near miss' can be a proxy for maternal death and it describes women who nearly died due to obstetric complications. It measures life threatening pregnancy related complications and allows the assessment of the quality of obstetric care. METHODS: A prospective descriptive study was carried out from October 1 2016 to 31 December 2016, using the WHO criteria for maternal 'near miss' at the two tertiary public hospitals which receive referrals of all obstetric complications in Harare city, Zimbabwe. The objective was to calculate the ratio of maternal 'near miss' and associated factors. All pregnant women who developed life threatening complications classified as maternal near miss using the WHO criteria were recruited and followed up for six weeks from discharge, delivery or termination of pregnancy or up to the time of death. RESULTS: During this period there were 11,871 births. One hundred and twenty three (123) women developed severe maternal outcomes, 110 were maternal 'near miss' morbidity and 13 were maternal deaths. The maternal 'near miss' ratio was 9.3 per 1000 deliveries, the mortality index (MI) was 10.6% and the maternal mortality ratio was 110 per 100,000 deliveries. The major organ dysfunction among cases with severe maternal outcomes (SMO) was cardiovascular dysfunction (76.9%). The major causes of maternal near miss were obstetric haemorrhage (31.8%), hypertensive disorders (28.2%) and complications of miscarriages (20%). The intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate was 7.3 per 100 cases of SMO and 88.8% of maternal deaths occurred without ICU admission. CONCLUSION: The MNM ratio was comparable to that in the region. Obstetric haemorrhage was a leading cause of severe maternal morbidity though with less mortality when compared to hypertensive disorders and abortion complications. Zimbabwe should adopt maternal near miss ratio as an indicator for evaluating its maternal health services.
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