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Maternal Death Audit: Millennium Development Goal Report

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Table of Contents
Introduction
Summary
Critique
Conclusion
References

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Introduction

The article “Maternal Death Audit as a Tool Reducing Maternal Mortality” examines how the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) can be realized by reducing maternal mortality ratios (MMR). It reveals that around half of all maternal deaths are never reported. The aim of this text is to outline and support various approaches that can be used to review maternal deaths in both developed and developing worlds. Audit committees should be established and guided to follow outlined legal and ethical frameworks. The key argument is that proper audits can ensure that the major causes of maternity deaths are identified and reduced using evidence-based initiatives. Personally, I believe that the ideas and insights presented in this article are meaningful since effective and timely reviews for maternal deaths can promote superior measures to support the attainment of the MDG 5.

Summary

The selected article begins by indicating that many countries are yet to make substantial progress towards reducing their MMR estimates. The absence of appropriate civil registration or monitoring systems in many countries is a major challenge affecting the attainment of the above MDG. Due to this gap, the article describes and suggests several approaches that can be implemented in different facilities and communities to review ill health and maternal mortality (“Maternal death audit,” 2011). These include confidential inquiries, a survey of near misses, community-based death reviews, facility-based analysis, and clinical audits. Without a proper understanding of the leading causes of maternal deaths, it may be impossible for different stakeholders to make appropriate decisions and implement superior interventions to minimize maternal mortality.

After going through the document, the reader can acknowledge that the author’s intention was to analyze the problem of maternal mortality and its impact on different communities. With this kind of understanding, the article highlights or explains why maternal death audits should be conducted by competent audit committees. This practice can ensure that the leading causes of this predicament are identified (“Maternal death audit,” 2011). The article outlines various approaches that can be considered to review ill health and maternal deaths. The proposal seeks to support the implementation of an effective audit system that has the potential to improve the quality of obstetric services. The outlined recommendations should be shared with different practitioners and caregivers in order “to improve the quality of and access to obstetric care” (“Maternal death audit,” 2011, p. 5). Such an approach will eventually result in the realization of the MDG 5.

The article has been organized in a proper manner. This is true because the reader identifies the major approaches for conducting maternal mortality units. The document also presents an effective plan or guideline for establishing an effective maternal death audit for health facilities. Ethical and legal aspects are also outlined in the report. The article goes further to give an example of an audit form that can be used in different health institutions (“Maternal death audit,” 2011). Appropriate recommendations and conclusions are presented. This kind of organization makes the article easy to read and informative.

Critique

The targeted article examines a unique issue that has not been taken seriously for several decades. Bhandari and Dangal (2014) indicate that maternal health has not received adequate support in many countries. This gap has resulted in a situation whereby a large number of maternal deaths are recorded in different regions. The report commissioned by the World Bank explains why many countries are finding it hard to monitor the progress of this MDG. This has been the case due to the absence of appropriate registration systems (Fernandes, Nunes, Prudêncio, & Mamede, 2015). Having identified this challenge, the article describes the major aspects of a maternal death audit and why it should be conducted in different clinics and facilities. This exposition makes the article meaningful and informative to the reader.

The author has managed to identify specific approaches that can be considered whenever conducting maternal death audits. When such measures are considered, it becomes easier to identify the number of deaths recorded in different hospitals and potential causes (“Maternal death audit,” 2011). This practice will present adequate evidence for reducing maternity deaths. The document has also identified some of the major obstacles that affect the effective implementation of the proposed audits in different countries. Some of them include lack of adequate skills, fear of guilt or blame, and poor record management. The article is informative because it offers a detailed analysis of every approach that can be used to review maternal deaths.

Legal and ethical frameworks that should be considered whenever completing various audits are described in the document. Appropriate guidelines for formulating and staging an audit committee meeting are also offered. Such procedures can ensure that more practitioners are willing to report every death and offer meaningful insights that can be considered to deal with this problem (Regmi et al., 2016). Evidence-based suggestions for committees such as being unbiased, fair, and nonjudgmental are identified.

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The above strengths explain why different countries and communities can use the presented article to monitor maternal deaths successfully. However, there are specific weaknesses that affect the effectiveness and applicability of this document. For instance, the author focuses on the major approaches for auditing maternal deaths. Although this information can guide different clinics, facilities, and communities to monitor the number of maternal deaths, the article fails to present powerful insights for tackling this problem. The report does not explain how different stakeholders and policymakers can be engaged to develop superior programs for dealing with maternal deaths (Koini, 2017). Another unique weakness of the article is that it fails to present adequate measures for dealing with clinicians and practitioners who fail to complete their roles diligently. This gap exists despite the fact that there are several cases of negligence that cause maternal deaths.

Effective action plans for dealing with maternal deaths in both developing and undeveloped countries are also not presented. These issues explain why individuals and professionals focusing on this problem should implement superior initiatives (Assefa, Van Damme, Williams, & Hill, 2017). The concept of multidisciplinary teams should have been considered since it can empower different professionals and stakeholders to improve the way maternal deaths are audited.

Conclusion

The selected article has identified a unique health issue affecting many communities. I believe that the concepts presented in this report can be applied in different countries and settings to improve the way maternal deaths are audited. The insights gained from such reviews can inform superior strategies to support the attainment of the MDG 5. The recommendation is that countries should improve these civil registration methods or systems in order to identify the major causes of maternal deaths. This practice will result in improved obstetric care and service delivery models and reduce maternal morbidity. The idea can also be replicated to monitor and deal with terminal conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

References

Assefa, Y., Van Damme, W., Williams, O. D., & Hill, P. S. (2017). Successes and challenges of the millennium development goals in Ethiopia: Lessons for the sustainable development goals. BMJ Global Health, 2, e000318. Web.

Bhandari, T. R., & Dangal, G. (2014). Emergency obstetric care: Strategy for reducing maternal mortality in developing countries. Nepal Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 17(1), 8-16.

Fernandes, B. B., Nunes, F. B., Prudêncio, P. S., & Mamede, F. V. (2015). Epidemiological research of the maternal deaths and compliance with the fifth millennium development goal. Revista Gaúcha de Enfermagem, 36(spe), 192-199. Web.

Koini, S. M. (2017). Evaluation of millennium development goals in reduction of maternal and child mortality in Narok County, Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(9), 31-42.

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Maternal death audit as a tool reducing maternal mortality. (2011). Web.

Regmi, P. R., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sharma, S., & Mahato, P. (2016). Sustainable development goals: Relevance to maternal and child in Nepal. Health Prospect: Journal of Public Health, 15(1), 9-10.

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