Alma Virginia Camacho-Hübner | October 2015
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Presentation at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, October 21, 2015

Background: Reducing maternal and neonatal mortality persists as one of the most important challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Women and newborns continue to die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, reflecting women’s unequal access to high-quality basic and emergency obstetric care. Monitoring progress requires more precise maternal and neonatal mortality measures. However, in many countries vital registration systems are weak and maternal and newborn deaths often go unreported or misclassified. The Regional Task Force on Maternal Mortality Reduction (GTR) and the LAC Newborn Alliance, in their efforts to strengthen the capacity of health ministries in LAC to implement maternal mortality and newborn surveillance, aim to assess the state of maternal and newborn mortality surveillance systems in LAC.

Methodology: Ministries of Health or other national agencies responsible for monitoring and reporting on prevalence, causes, and efforts to reduce maternal and newborn mortality were invited to complete an online survey to gather information on regional maternal and neonatal surveillance.

Results: Findings will provide a comprehensive regional status report on maternal and neonatal mortality; existing or planned implementation of surveillance systems to monitor adverse pregnancy outcomes; describe how these systems operate, including their monitoring, evaluation and response efforts; and how the data are used to educate the public to help improve outcomes and inform health policy and programs.

Conclusion: Results will inform countries on the situation of maternal and neonatal surveillance and response in the Americas. Additionally, they will be utilized to update existing guidelines, aid the creation of new standards, and contribute to framing the post-2015 Strategic Development Agenda for women and children in the Americas.