Family ignorance linked to maternal deaths (Bangladesh)

fighting maternal death

A “social autopsy” exercise in Bangladesh identified family decisions as a key factor in 28 cases of maternal death during pregnancy and childbirth:

  • Family ignorance of symptoms.
  • Family making wrong decisions in a crisis, for example, trying to have the baby delivered at home.
  • Family having no plan to get to a medical facility.
  • Family delaying decision making until it is too late.

This study strongly illustrates the need to ensure that families are well-informed.

A social autopsy involves asking members of the family and community about the social factors around a death in the community. This autopsy focused on 28 maternal deaths in the Thakurgaon District in Bangladesh and was carried out by Government.


Biswas A, Halim MA, Dalal K & Rahman F (2016), Exploration of social factors associated to maternal deaths due to haemorrhage and convulsions: analysis of 28 social autopsies in rural Bangladesh, BMC Health Services Research 16

Photo: United Nations Photo. Creative Commons.