Document Detail


Maternity waiting shelters and pregnancy outcome: experience from a rural area in Zimbabwe.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8787367     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Despite efforts to improve prenatal and perinatal health care in developing countries, child-birth remains hazardous for both mother and child. Several measures have been initiated to try to improve maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. One such measure is the establishment of maternity waiting shelters at hospitals where mothers can wait so that, when they go into labour or develop antenatal complications, they can transfer to the hospital wards for management and safe delivery. From May 1987 to April 1989, we evaluated pregnancy outcome among 280 women using such a shelter in a remote rural district in Zimbabwe. Perinatal mortality was higher (29.8 per 1000) among 773 non-waiting mothers than among the waiting mothers (25.0 per 1000), although this was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). However, there were significantly more low birthweight babies (11.4%) among the non-waiting mothers than among the waiting mothers (4.3%) (p < 0.01). Fetal deaths were more common than early neonatal deaths, suggesting that maternal factors accounted for most of the perinatal deaths. Poor pregnancy outcome was associated more with primigravidae and grand multigravidae than with those who had had one to four pregnancies. We conclude that maternity waiting shelters can contribute to preventing low birthweight and, to a lesser extent, improve perinatal outcome. There is a need to strengthen health care referral systems and to increase efforts to improve other determinants of perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality.
Delivery in developing countries remains dangerous for both mother and child. One approach to reducing the levels of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality involves the establishment of maternity waiting shelters in which expectant mothers can wait for labor or the development of antenatal complications. Should the latter occur, the women can be transferred to neighboring hospital wards for management and safe delivery. The authors evaluated pregnancy outcomes from May 1987 to April 1989 among 280 women using such a shelter in Chimanimani district, Zimbabwe. Perinatal mortality was 29.8/1000 among 773 nonwaiting mothers compared to 25.0/1000 among the 280 waiting mothers; the difference was not statistically significant. There were, however, significantly more low-birth-weight babies (11.4%) among nonwaiting mothers than among waiting mothers (4.3%). Fetal deaths were more common than early neonatal deaths, suggesting that maternal factors accounted for most of the perinatal deaths. Poor pregnancy outcome was associated more with primigravidae and grand multigravidae than with those who had had 1-4 pregnancies. The authors conclude that maternity waiting shelters can help prevent low birth weight and, to a lesser extent, improve perinatal outcome. Health care referral systems need to be strengthened and efforts made to improve other determinants of perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality.
Authors:
J K Tumwine; P S Dungare
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of tropical paediatrics     Volume:  16     ISSN:  0272-4936     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann Trop Paediatr     Publication Date:  1996 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-09-26     Completed Date:  1996-09-26     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8210625     Medline TA:  Ann Trop Paediatr     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  55-9     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Birthing Centers* / organization & administration
Female
Humans
Infant Mortality
Infant, Newborn
Maternal Mortality
Morbidity
Pregnancy
Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
Retrospective Studies
Rural Population
Zimbabwe / epidemiology

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