How did we find mothers and babies who died or experienced a near-miss?

Field workers worked closely with community health volunteers (CHVs) (or “community key informants”) to identify deaths in the communities. CHVs are individuals who live within each community, work with the District Health Management Team, and provide voluntary health assistance to community members. Health facility personnel (doctors, nurses, midwives) were also trained to inform field workers of maternal and neonatal deaths that happened in the facilities, as well as any maternal and neonatal near-misses. Near-misses were identified using screening tools based on the WHO near-miss criteria.

How were data collected?

Death and near-miss data collection consisted of one-on-one interviews between a trained PREMAND field worker and a participant (a family member, friend, or the woman herself). The field worker was responsible for conducting the semi-structured interview using a verbal and social autopsy assessment (VASA) for deaths, and a socio-cultural audit (SCA) for near-misses.  Field workers audio recorded and transcribed qualitative components of the interviews.

Surveys were also conducted by field workers to document the geographic location, services provided, and personnel available at all health facilities within the study districts.  Similarly, geolocations were recorded and surveys were conducted with all traditional healers.