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Improving maternal health by reducing maternal morbidity

Mother watches her baby lying next to her in bed

CMNH conducted a study of maternal morbidity in India, Kenya, Malawi and Pakistan. The cross-sectional study assessed women at five stages of pregnancy:

  • Early natal (<20 weeks)
  • Late natal (>20 weeks)
  • At birth (within 24 hours of delivery)
  • Early postnatal (day 1-7)
  • Late postnatal (1-12 weeks)

Socio-demographic factors, subjective (self-reporting) and objective (clinical examination and investigations) health outcomes were assessed. The relationship between ill health and maternal characteristics were investigated using logistic regression analysis.

A total of 11,453 women were assessed across the 4 countries, 2923 of which were in Malawi. Overall, the findings were:

  • 20% were depressed, reported poor quality of life and poor satisfaction with health
  • 76% reported more than one physical symptoms, the commonest gastrointestinal 
  • 47.4% were anaemic
  • 32.2% had clinical signs of early sepsis