<< Back To Home

Maternal death and delays in accessing emergency obstetric care in Mozambique

Wednesday, 9th of May 2018 Print

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018 Mar 22;18(1):71.


doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-1699-z.

Maternal death and delays in accessing emergency obstetric care in Mozambique

Chavane LA1Bailey P2Loquiha O3Dgedge M4Aerts M5Temmerman M6,7.

Author information

1 Jhpiego Mozambique, Rua A.W. Bayly, 61, Maputo, Mozambique. leochavane@gmail.com.

2 RMNCH Unit, Global Health Programs, FHI, Durham, NC, 360, USA.

3 Department of Mathematics and Informatics, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.

4 Faculty of Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.

5 Interuniversity Institute for Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics (I-BioStat), Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium.

6 Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health- East Africa, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

7 Ghent University Belgium, Ghent, Belgium.



Despite declining trends maternal mortality remains an important public health issue in Mozambique. The delays to reach an appropriate health facility and receive care faced by woman with pregnancy related complications play an important role in the occurrence of these deaths. This study aims to examine the contribution of the delays in relation to the causes of maternal death in facilities in Mozambique.


Secondary analysis was performed on data from a national assessment on maternal and neonatal health that included in-depth maternal death reviews, using patient files and facility records with the most comprehensive information available. Statistical models were used to assess the association between delay to reach the health facility that provides emergency obstetric care (delay type II) and delay in receiving appropriate care once reaching the health facility providing emergency obstetric care (delay type III) and the cause of maternal death within the health facility.


Data were available for 712 of 2,198 maternal deaths. Delay type II was observed in 40.4% of maternal deaths and delay type III in 14.2%.and 13.9% had both delays. Women who died of a direct obstetric complication were more likely to have experienced a delay type III than women who died due to indirect causes. Women who experienced delay type II were less likely to have also delay type III and vice versa.


The delays in reaching and receiving appropriate facility-based care for women facing pregnancy related complications in Mozambique contribute significantly to maternal mortality. Securing referral linkages and health facility readiness for rapid and correct patient management are needed to reduce the impact of these delays within the health system.