Maternal Health Task Force

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Have Stillbirth Data? We Need Your Help!

By: Hannah Blencowe, Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, together with the World Health Organization, with support from Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children, are updating estimates of stillbirth rates at national level for the first time since 2009, with time trends and also timing of stillbirth  (intrapartum versus antepartum).

The estimated 2.6 million stillbirths each year are an important part of the unfinished agenda for maternal and newborn health at the end of the Millennium Development Goals. Despite this, stillbirths have remained largely invisible on the global agenda.

The Every Newborn Action Plan launched this year, along with a World Health Assembly Resolution, aims to support countries to end preventable maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths. As part of this commitment, it is critical to accelerate progress in preventing stillbirths, and improve tracking of national stillbirth rates especially from low- and middle-income settings, where the highest burden rests, and data are currently the least available.

Data:

If you have suitable data, these would be a very valuable input to improve the estimates and gain more attention for this important global health issue. These data should meet the following criteria:

  1. Population-based or from facilities with >90% of local births and no major referral bias,
  2. Report stillbirths using the WHO definition (≥1000 gms or ≥28 weeks gestation),
  3. And/or report intrapartum stillbirths based on the same definition (we can accept datasets with intrapartum stillbirths alone as long as point 1 above is met).

We very much hope that you would consider this request.  We would be happy to provide more details on data suitability and a standard data form. Confidentiality will be ensured and the data will be strictly for these analyses only.  For each team contributing stillbirth data, two investigators will be invited to be members of the author group on a peer reviewed paper regarding the estimates.

Data will be needed by 5th January 2015 but please let us know if more time would be critical for you.

For more details please contact Dr Hannah Blencowe at LSHTM hannah.blencowe@lshtm.ac.uk.

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