Hospital Registration of Maternal Mortality in Iraq 2001-2007


Background: Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death among women in many developing countries. In most developing countries, monitoring the level of maternal mortality rates and ratios seems to be very difficult. Ministry of Health, in its effort to improve the registration system through the cooperation between Maternal and Child Health Section (Directorate of Public Health and Primary Health Care), Department of Health and Vital Statistics (Directorate of Planning and Resource Development) and the World Health Organization (WHO), implemented a special maternal mortality inquiry form for hospital registrations of maternal deaths started on the year 2000. Aim of the study: To evaluate the trend in maternal mortality registration during the period 2001-2007.Materials & Methods: A review of records was performed during the first half of 2008, to study the trend of registering maternal mortality over the last seven years. All the reports received by the Ministry of health for the last seven years were reviewed to evaluate the progress in hospital registration of maternal deaths.Results: The study revealed more than one and a half fold increase in the number of registered maternal deaths over the seven years period after implementing the special inquiry form, with marked variation in registration between different governorates and within the same governorate . Conclusions and Recommendations :Implementing a special maternal mortality inquiry form, by the Ministry of Health, lead to noticeable improvement in registering maternal mortality in health facilities, yet further studies are recommended to review each case of death.Key wards: Maternal death, maternal mortality ratio