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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 267923, 8 pages
Research Article

Using Community Informants to Estimate Maternal Mortality in a Rural District in Pakistan: A Feasibility Study

1Population Council, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2Center for Family Welfare, Faculty of Public Health, University of Indonesia, Jakarta 16424, Indonesia

Received 31 July 2014; Revised 22 December 2014; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Vorapong Phupong

Copyright © 2015 Ali Mohammad Mir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. We aimed to assess the feasibility of using community-based informants’ networks to identify maternal deaths that were followed up through verbal autopsies (MADE-IN MADE-FOR technique) to estimate maternal mortality in a rural district in Pakistan. Methods. We used 4 community networks to identify deaths in women of reproductive age in the past 2 years in Chakwal district, Pakistan. The deaths recorded by the informants were followed up through verbal autopsies. Results. In total 1,143 Lady Health Workers (government employees who provide primary health care), 1577 religious leaders, 20 female lady councilors (elected representatives), and 130 nikah registrars (persons who register marriages) identified 2001 deaths in women of reproductive age. 1424 deaths were followed up with verbal autopsies conducted with the relatives of the deceased. 169 pregnancy-related deaths were identified from all reported deaths. Through the capture-recapture technique probability of capturing pregnancy-related deaths by LHWs was 0.73 and for religious leaders 0.49. Maternal mortality in Chakwal district was estimated at 309 per 100,000 live births. Conclusion. It is feasible and economical to use community informants to identify recent deaths in women of reproductive age and, if followed up through verbal autopsies, obviate the need for conducting large scale surveys.