In this prospective cohort study done in 11 community-based research sites in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, between July, 2012, and February, 2016, the authors conducted population-based surveillance of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) to identify pregnancies, which were followed up to birth and 42 days post partum. These results will contribute to improved global estimates of rates, timing, and causes of maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths. The findings imply that programmes in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia need to further intensify their efforts to reduce mortality rates, which continue to be high. The focus on improving the quality of maternal intrapartum care and immediate newborn care must be further enhanced. Efforts to address perinatal asphyxia and newborn infections, as well as preterm birth, are critical to achieving survival goals in the Sustainable Development Goals era.


  1. Alkema L; Chou D; Hogan D; et al. Global, regional, and national levels and trends in maternal mortality between 1990 and 2015, with scenario-based projections to 2030: a systematic analysis by the UN Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group. Lancet. 2016; 387: 462-474

  2. Blencowe H; Cousens S; Jassir FB; et al. National, regional, and worldwide estimates of stillbirth rates in 2015, with trends from 2000: a systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2016; 4: e98-e108

  3. Cousens S; Blencowe H; Stanton C; et al. National, regional, and worldwide estimates of stillbirth rates in 2009 with trends since 1995: A systematic analysis. Lancet. 2011; 377: 1319-1330


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