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CHERG - Child Epidemiology Reference Group
Child Mortality and Morbidity
Underlying causes of child death
Effect of co-morbidity on child mortality
Country-level causes of child mortality
Failures in the “pathways to survival”
Incidence and sequelae of child morbidity
Maternal Mortality and Morbidity
Causes of maternal mortality
Incidence and sequelae of maternal morbidity
Risk Factors
Indoor and outdoor air pollution
IUGR and preterm birth as risk factors for morbidity/mortality
Micronutrient deficiencies and nutritional status
Birth spacing as a risk factor of maternal and child mortality
Program-related Evidence
Intervention effectiveness to reduce maternal/child mortality
Measurement of intervention coverage
Enhance the LiST methodology


Causes of maternal mortality

The overwhelming majority of maternal deaths occur in developing countries and arise from the risks attributable to pregnancy and childbirth as well as from the poor performance of health services. To reduce maternal deaths globally we need to assure that effective services are provided for improving overall maternal health. This task, in turn, requires targeted health care interventions that are informed by reliable and valid epidemiological data. A comprehensive summary of the magnitude and distribution of the causes of maternal deaths is therefore a critical component of a global strategy to reduce these deaths and, more broadly, to inform reproductive health policies and programs.

Methods and Expected Products

CHERG will conduct work related to causes of maternal deaths in three domains:

Estimates of causes of maternal deaths:  A systematic review conducted by WHO and published in 2006 in the Lancet provides a regional distribution of causes of maternal deaths. WHO is currently in the process of updating that review with the aim of providing up-to-date global/regional/sub-regional estimates, and will be collaborating with CHERG to finalize this effort.

Estimates of individual causes and contributory factors for maternal deaths:  Work in this domain aims to improve information on causes of maternal deaths by providing up-to-date estimates of incidence/ prevalence and case fatality rates of main causes of maternal deaths. Main causes of maternal deaths include, hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, unsafe abortion, maternal sepsis, and indirect causes in some settings such as malaria. It is important to understand the scale and distribution of these conditions as well as case fatality rates to inform planning of interventions. Additionally, work will be conducted to understand the various contributing factors that do not directly or indirectly cause maternal deaths, but increase a woman's risks of dying from a maternal cause, such as HIV/AIDS, anemia and obstructed labor.

Classification of maternal deaths:  The CHERG will contribute to the finalization of a classification system for identifying causes of maternal deaths that is being developed by RHR/HRP by supporting the write-up and dissemination of this effort.

Realted Publication

Tunçalp O, Hindin MJ, Souza JP, Chou D, Say L. The prevalence of maternal near miss: a systematic review. BJOG. 2012 May;119(6):653-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03294.x.

Untitled Document

Examination of Child in Benin

PowerPoint Presentation
Global Child Mortality: Estimates of Levels and Causes for 2000-2010

New Publications 
Born Too Small: National and regional estimates of babies born small for gestational age. Healthy Newborn Network Blog on new article in Lancet Global Health

PLOS Med Collection: Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

LiST Tool
Download the the Lives Saved Tool

Lives Saved Tool in 2013: BMC Public Health Special Issue