Strengthening Maternal Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response Systems

Every day, around 830 women die globally because of complications due to pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these are preventable and each maternal death has an important story to tell and can provide insights and point to practical ways to prevent avoidable deaths in the future.


Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) systems collect this information and aim to improve the quality of care given to pregnant women and their babies.

Each death provides valuable information, which if acted on, can prevent future deaths. To do this, we need to know how many women and babies die, why and what the circumstances were leading up to their deaths. If equipped with this information, we can understand what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent more deaths from taking place due to similar reasons.

MPDSR promotes routine identification and timely notification of maternal deaths and is a form of continuous surveillance linking health information systems and quality improvement processes from local to national levels. It can contribute to strengthening vital registration and better counting of maternal deaths, and provide better information for action and monitoring improvements in maternal health. It helps quantify and determine the causes of maternal deaths and what can be done to improve the survival of mothers and babies.

What mamaye is doing

We support countries to introduce, implement and sustain Maternal & Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response systems. At a global level, E4A-MamaYe shares best practice and lessons learnt from implementing countries and technical experts. Specifically: studies and research pieces, with a view to informing practitioners and policymakers and global reporting on MPDSR.


E4A-MamaYe has supported the development and roll-out of national MPDSR guidelines and associated training. MamaYe provides intensive support to the state governments of Lagos, Bauchi and Gombe to implement MPDSR systems at the facility and state level. In 2017, we started working with Lagos States Ministry of Health to launch a new app for notifying and reviewing maternal and perinatal deaths. The app will run on tablets provided to facilities with a “live” dashboard that allows users to analyse data across participating facilities. This intervention has the power to simplify workloads and improve data accuracy and availability, thereby leading to more evidence-based decision-making.


We work with county health management teams to ensure a functional county MPDSR ecosystem for improved quality of care data. We strengthen the capacity of MPDSR committees to design and execute actionable responses to maternal and new-born deaths and we are also planning to introduce digitization of MPDSR through “eMPDSR”.

We partner with the WHO MDSR and Perinatal Audit Technical Working Group to coordinate on best practice case.