Every year 530,000 women die from maternal causes, four million infants die in the neonatal period, and a similar number are stillborn. Despite a plethora of newly validated interventions, the millennium development goals to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and child mortality by two thirds are unlikely to be achieved. One of the reasons for this is that current safer motherhood and newborn care programmes emphasise interventions that do not reach the poorest households. Community based interventions have been neglected and undervalued. In this article, we argue that large scale community effectiveness trials are both necessary and feasible if we are to make further progress with reducing maternal and child mortality.
Costello, A.; Osrin, D.; Manandhar, D. Reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in the poorest communities. British Medical Journal (2004) 329 (7475) 1166-1168. [DOI: 10.1136/bmj.329.7475.1166]