Maternal mortality in Gujarat

Dinesh Songara

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2009.071


When a pregnant woman, Vaishali (not her real name), died in a village in Gujarat, we decided to examine the circumstances that led to her death. We asked healthcare professionals and the sarpanch in the village if they could identify the events that caused her death. Not only were they clueless about the cause of Vaishali’s death, they also showed no interest in discussing how such deaths could be prevented. Worse, it took them a month to report the death. It was only when we wrote to the district health officer that he ordered an autopsy. But this was two months after Vaishali died. We realised that if we wanted to know the circumstances that led to her death, we would have to speak directly to members of her family.

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