Speakers at a workshop on Monday stressed on maternal death notification as the first step for future death prevention strategy, saying around 5,200 mothers die every year due to complications related to pregnancy and delivery.
The workshop titled “Ensuring every maternal death is counted in Bangladesh” was jointly organized by United Nations Population Fund (UNFFPA) and Center for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB).
Associate Director of CIPRB Dr Animesh Biswas said: “Death notification is the first step for future death prevention through death mapping for immediate response, verbal autopsy of community deaths, assigning causes of death, social autopsy, facility death review of facility deaths and policy implications.”
Dr Animesh also emphasized on misclassified maternal death.
According to District Health Information System (DHIS-2), 60% maternal death happened to mothers aged between 20-40 years old, and 60% of death happened in families of poor socio-economic status.
“There are maternal deaths which have been recorded as natural deaths, heart attacks, high blood pressure or others. These create barriers to curbing maternal death,” said speakers.
Emphasizing on death mapping, Unicef Maternal Health specialist Dr ASM Sayem said: “Death mapping system can produce divisional, district, upazila, union, and by community clinic maps, maps by death facility, cause of death by facility, and also socio-economic status of mothers. And this is how it will be easy to intervene with necessary strategy to prevent future maternal death.”
At the workshop, speakers also emphasized on introducing laws to prevent maternal death.
Citing examples of countries with laws and policies regarding maternal death review and achieved successes, Chief Whip of Bangladesh parliament ASM Feroz said he will keep this as his agenda to discuss with all members of parliaments in the next meeting of the parliamentary committee for developing maternal health and safe motherhood.
The chief whip also emphasized on preventing child marriage to curb maternal death and early pregnancy as child marriages are the reason behind 31% of early pregnancies.
Member of Parliament Prof Dr Md Habibe Millat also gave a presentation on maternal death notification - its past, present and future.
Lawmakers and legal experts, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and development partner and NGO representatives, professional experts and academics were present at the workshop as participants.