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Why did Maternal Mortality Decline in Matlab?

Deborah Maine, Murat Z. Akalin, Jyotsnamoy Chakraborty, Andres de Francisco and Michael Strong
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1996), pp. 179-187
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137952
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137952
Page Count: 9
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Why did Maternal Mortality Decline in Matlab?
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Abstract

In 1991, an article on the Maternity Care Program in Matlab, Bangladesh, reported a substantial decline in direct obstetric deaths in the intervention area, but not in the control area. The decline was attributed primarily to the posting of midwives at the village level. In this article, data are presented from the same period and area on a variety of intermediate events. They indicate that the decline in deaths was probably due to the combined efforts of community midwives and the physicians at the Matlab maternity clinic. Their ability to refer patients to higher levels of care was important. The data further indicate that the decline in deaths depended upon the functioning of the government hospital in Chandpur, where cesarean sections and blood transfusions were available. Midwives might also have made a special contribution by providing early termination of pregnancy, which is legal in Bangladesh.

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