Levels and Causes of Maternal Mortality in Pakistan: Results from the Demographic and Health Survey 2007

Farid Midhet, University of California, Berkeley
Nap Hosang, University of California, Berkeley

This study presents the data on maternal mortality from the Demographic and Health Survey of Pakistan, 2007. We designed a nested case-control study comparing the maternal deaths reported during three years preceding the survey (cases) with the women who survived a pregnancy during the same time period in the same sampling clusters (controls). The overall maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was 276 per 100,000 live births. The MMR was significantly higher in the rural areas and in remote provinces. About 85% of maternal deaths were attributed to direct maternal causes. Postpartum hemorrhage was the leading direct cause of maternal deaths, followed by puerperal sepsis and eclampsia. The effect of biological risk factors of maternal mortality (such as age and parity) was significantly greater among women residing in the underserved areas. We conclude that improving the access to emergency obstetric care is the key to saving mothers’ lives in Pakistan.

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Presented in Session 126: Maternal Mortality in Asia