Maternal Neonatal and Child Care-Seeking Project

Investigator: Dominic Montagu, DrPH
Sponsor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Location(s): Kenya


In 2008, over 300,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth, mostly in poor countries. While there are proven interventions to make childbirth safer, there is uncertainty about the best way to deliver these at large scale. In particular, there is currently a debate about whether maternal deaths are more likely to be prevented by delivering effective interventions through scaled up facilities or via community-based services. To inform this debate, we examined delivery location and attendance and the reasons women report for giving birth at home.

In developing countries, most poor women deliver at home. This suggests that, at least in the near term, efforts to reduce maternal deaths should prioritize community-based interventions aimed at making home births safer.