Low involvement of husbands linked to maternal death (Ethiopia)

maternal death

A study of maternal deaths in Northern Ethiopia has identified four key risk factors, one of which is low involvement of husbands during the pregnancy. The study concludes

“interventions aimed at reducing maternal mortality need to focus on ……enhancing husbands’ involvement in maternal health services.”

The study, which was situated in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, examined 62 cases of maternal death and 248 cases of successful birth.

Husband/partner involvement was measured by asking questions about:

  • his involvement in planning transportation
  • his attendance at the antenatal clinic (also during previous pregnancies)
  • his encouragement of the woman to attend the clinic
  • his influence over decision-making about when/where to get antenatal care
  • his participation in discussions about family planning, antenatal care and delivery

We know from other research reported on this website that husbands can be highly influential over decision-making during pregnancy and respond well to having more and better information about the health benefits of engaging with health services.


Godefay H, Byass P, Graham WJ, Kinsman J & Mulugeta A (2015), Risk Factors for Maternal Mortality in Rural Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: A Case-Control Study, PLoS ONE 10(12)

Photo: mariusz kluzniak. Creative Commons.