The maternal mortality project aims to create awareness of maternal health and antenatal care during pregnancy for pregnant women in slums. The project aims to gather knowledge from women in slums to develop an action plan for maternal health in slums as well.

Maternal mortality is defined as death during pregnancy, childbirth or in 42 days after delivery.[1] Pregnancy is not a disease and pregnancy related mortality is mostly preventable. Yet more than half a million women die each year due to pregnancy related complications. 99% of these come from the developing world .[2]

The status of maternal health in Pakistan is poor. Despite the focus on improvement on maternal health as set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a reduction in maternal mortality rate is not very significant. The maternal mortality ratio for Pakistan in 2015 was 178 (per 100,000 live births).[3] The major causes for maternal mortality are hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, sepsis, obstructed labor and abortions.[4] All of these are largely preventable through a proper understanding, diagnosis and management of complications.

The provision of antenatal health care is one major way to prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy and to promote healthy lifestyles that benefit both mother and child.[5] While various studies exist on this issue, the pregnant woman in slums is generally outside the domain of such studies. This project allows clinical students to approach women in these settlements to learn about their knowledge and ideas about maternal health, and accessibility and affordability of such facilities.

 

[1] World Health Organization [http://www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/indmaternalmortality/en/]

[2] World Health Organization [http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/maternal-mortality]

[3] UNICEF: Maternal and Newborn Health Disparities in Pakistan [https://data.unicef.org/wp-content/uploads/country_profiles/Pakistan/country%20profile_PAK.pdf]

[4] Véronique Filippi, Doris Chou, Carine Ronsmans, Wendy Graham, and Lale Say, Chapter 3 Levels and Causes of Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (Volume 2)

[5]WHO: Sexual and Reproductive Health (Antenatal Care) [https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/maternal_perinatal_health/ANC_infographics/en/]