Maternal death audit revealed high proportion of maternal deaths occurred at home in Sundarbans riverine zone, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India, 2009


Background: West Bengal (WB) has goal to attain maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 70/100,000 live births by 2010. Current MMR in WB is 141/100,000 live births. WB state introduced maternal death audit by Health Supervisor to describe the medical and socio-cultural causes of maternal mortality since 2006. We analyzed secondary data on maternal mortality in South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal. Methods: We analysed the data of audited maternal deaths since January 2007. We compared the deaths between hard-to-reach Sundarbans riverine and Non-sundarbans regions of the district. Results: Of 356 deaths reported, 68% (243) were audited and of them 83% (202/243) reports were available for analysis. 5%-38% fields in the verbal audit form were not filled. Cause of death was not mentioned in 76 (38%) deaths. 55% of women who died delivered at home. Deaths during and after delivery were 34% and 43%. Major causes of deaths were haemorrhage (24%), eclampsia (10%), anaemia (5%), sepsis (4%) and unsafe abortion (3%). 49%