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East Afr Med J. 1992 Dec;69(12):675-9.

Maternal mortality in the Thyolo District of southern Malawi.

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  • 1National Statistics Office, Zomba, Malawi.


The Sisterhood Method, a community-based survey technique, was used to estimate the Life Time Risk of a woman dying a maternal death in Southern Malawi. With this figure, the maternal mortality ratio for that area was calculated to be 409 deaths per 100,000 live births. The 4124 adults interviewed reported 150 maternal deaths in sisters. An in-depth questionnaire was then used to determine that 56% of these deaths occurred outside a health facility, largely due to lack of transportation or poor access to fixed health care facilities; 25% died from excessive hemorrhage; 20% from obstructed labour; 18% from abortion; 13% from sepsis; while eclampsia accounted for only 4% of the maternal deaths. This field experience with the Sisterhood Method technique combined with an in-depth questionnaire for determining causes of maternal deaths has provided useful information in a simple and cost-effective manner for use in planning intervention strategies designed to decrease maternal mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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