Strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of maternal and perinatal death reviews in Tanzania: perceptions, processes and practice.

Armstrong, CE; Lange, IL; Magoma, M; Ferla, C; Filippi, V; Ronsmans, C; (2014) Strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of maternal and perinatal death reviews in Tanzania: perceptions, processes and practice. Tropical medicine & international health, 19 (9). pp. 1087-95. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI:

Text - Accepted Version

Download (209kB) | Preview
[img] Text - Accepted Version

Download (1kB)


OBJECTIVES: Tanzania institutionalised maternal and perinatal death reviews (MPDR) in 2006, yet there is scarce evidence on the extent and quality of implementation of the system. We reviewed the national policy documentation and explored stakeholders' involvement in, and perspectives of, the role and practices of MPDR in district and regional hospitals, and assessed current capacity for achieving MPDR.<br/> METHODS: We reviewed the national MPDR guidelines and conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Thirty-two informants in Mara Region were interviewed within health administration and hospitals, and five informants were included at the central level. Interviews were analysed for comparison of statements across health system level, hospital, profession and MPDR experience.<br/> RESULTS: The current MPDR system does not function adequately to either perform good quality reviews or fulfil the aspiration to capture every facility-based maternal and perinatal death. Informants at all levels express differing understandings of the purpose of MPDR. Hospital reviews fail to identify appropriate challenges and solutions at the facility level. Staff are committed to the process of maternal death review, with routine documentation and reporting, yet action and response are insufficient.<br/> CONCLUSION: The confusion between MPDR and maternal death surveillance and response results in a system geared towards data collection and surveillance, failing to explore challenges and solutions from within the remit of the hospital team. This reduces the accountability of the health workers and undermines opportunities to improve quality of care. We recommend initiatives to strengthen the quality of facility-level reviews in order to establish a culture of continuous quality of care improvement and a mechanism of accountability within facilities. Effective facility reviews are an important peer-learning process that should remain central to quality of care improvement strategies.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Maternal Health Group
PubMed ID: 25039579
Web of Science ID: 340568200011


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item