Public Health Approach Towards Reduction in Maternal Mortality in South Asia – (Pages 17-27)

Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava and Jegadeesh Ramasamy

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Kancheepuram, India

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14205/2309-4400.2013.01.01.4

Abstract: Globally, it has been estimated that every year over 500000 maternal deaths occur. Differing extent of political commitment has been observed in the implemented interventions for bringing about a significant reduction in maternal mortality. The current review is done with an aim to identify the socio-demographic factors and barriers which can affect antenatal care utilization. Further it explains all the possible approach which can be planned and implemented for delivering obstetric critical care in developing nations. Under Millennium Development Goal, the target is to decrease the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between from 1990 to 2015. Some of the nations have shown good progress in achieving the goal while others have shown stagnation. Every parturient deserves special attention and care during antenatal, intra-natal and immediate post-partum period. The current review deals with the identification of the multiple socio-demographic factors and barriers which can affect antenatal care utilization. Further it explains all the possible approach which can be planned and implemented for delivering obstetric critical care in developing nations such as community participation, collaboration between different stakeholders, strengthening of referral services and infrastructure, inquiry into maternal deaths and integrated approach have been advocated in different settings with variable extent of success. To conclude, prioritizing among the identified challenges and barriers is the most effective method of bringing about desired health changes. In developing nations, for delivering obstetric critical care emphasis should be on socio-cultural characteristics prevalent in the local settings such as economic constraints, identified barriers, and attitude of family members towards institutional delivery.

Keywords: Maternal mortality, Developing nations, Antenatal care utilization, Referral services, Millennium development goal.