Obstetric deaths in Bangladesh, 1996-1997

M. H. Rahman, H. H. Akhter, M. E.E. Khan Chowdhury, H. R. Yusuf, R. W. Rochat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to measure and to describe obstetric deaths in Bangladesh. Methods: We reviewed hospital records and interviewed health workers in clinic sites and field workers who cared for pregnant women. Results: We obtained case reports of 28998 deaths of women aged 10-50, of which 8562 (29.5%) were maternal deaths. Most (7086, 82.8%) of these deaths were due to obstetric causes. The most common causes of direct obstetric death were eclampsia (34.3%), hemorrhage (27.9%), and obstructed and/or prolonged labor (11.3%). National direct obstetric death rate was estimated to be 16.9 per 100000 women. Conclusions: Efforts to reduce fertility in Bangladesh have led to an estimated 49% reduction in the maternal mortality rate per 1000 women during the past 18 years. Variations in maternal mortality suggest the need to develop local strategies to improve obstetric care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bangladesh
  • Contraception
  • Maternal mortality
  • Obstetric death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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