Maternal Mortality Interventions: A Systematic Review


Background: In order to achieve the World Health Organization’s Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015, a strong global commitment is needed to address this issue in low-income nations where the risk to women is greatest. A comprehensive international effort must include provision of obstetric and general medical care as well as community-based interventions, with an emphasis on the latter in nations where the majority of women deliver babies at home without a trained attendant. Methods: This systematic analysis evaluates interventions published in Medline and CINAHL whose outcome measure is maternal mortality. Analysis includes components of the intervention, nation and maternal death rates. Results: Nine studies documented the effectiveness of various clinical and community-based interventions, including specific drug regimens and procedures, in reducing the risk of maternal death. Six studies reported interventions that did not significantly alter maternal mortality outcomes, and the intervention in one study demonstrated increased risk of maternal death. Conclusion: The dearth of evidence highlights the need for increased focus on translational research that bridges the gap between medical advances and community-based interventions that are feasible in low-income nations. This cannot be accomplished without a stronger commitment to reducing maternal mortality by global health practitioners and researchers.

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Piane, G. and Clinton, E. (2014) Maternal Mortality Interventions: A Systematic Review. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 699-707. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.49079.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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