Underreporting of in-hospital maternal deaths in three hospitals, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


  • Mahlet Yigeremu
  • Mitike Molla


Background: Ethiopia is one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio at 412/100,000 live births in 2018. By way of decreasing maternal mortality, the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia (FMoH) has launched the maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) system to make maternal deaths as one of the reportable events by the health care system since 2013 in addition to the existing Health Management Information System (HMIS)

Objective: this study aimed to assess the reporting of in-hospital maternal deaths in three hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: We extracted data from death certificates and medical records of all females aged 15-49 years who died between   January 2015 and December 2017 using practical data capturing tool developed by the Initiative for maternal mortality program assessment (IMMPACT) called; rapid ascertainment process of institutional death (RAPID). 

Result: During the study period there were 1210 women deaths in the age group of 15-49 years with 1137 well documented death certificates. We reviewed medical charts of 876 (77.04 %) female deaths and found 84 (9.58%) maternal deaths using the IMMPACT RAPID tool.  Using HMIS and /or MDSR systems 47 (56%) of the maternal deaths were reported by the studied hospitals resulting in underreporting of 37 (44%) of female deaths. Most deaths (28.6%) occurred in the adult emergency department and (27.4%) in the intensive care units of the hospitals. 



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