A workshop on maternal mortality was organized in collaboration by CMC Vellore, CommonHealth, Sama and Human Rights Watch on 2-3 June 2012 at Muttukadu near Chennai.
The workshop focused on widening the scope of maternal health through discussions on social determinants of health and the impact of other policies on health as well as develop alternate approaches to record evidence on maternal health through rigorous, systematic based on the ground realities. It initiated a process of critical analysis of the policy on maternal health and its narrow technical interventions and aimed to develop a framework analyzing maternal mortality in the Indian context through case studies, widen the framework of Maternal Death Reviews and reduce biased reporting by the health system and as well as initiate processes of collection of evidence that went beyond numbers and was respectful of the experience of women, families of women and communities.
A report of the workshop was prepared and post workshop follow up was initiated. Draft guidelines and tools for the conduct of social autopsies were also developed. Attempts were also simultaneously made to conduct independent maternal death reviews (MDR) to serve as a ‘watchdog’ to identify health-system gaps; and advocate for programmatic and policy changes.