Maternal mortality remains very high in many parts of the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Limited awareness of risk factors for maternal mortality such as maternal age and birth spacing may contribute to persistently high death rates, and public health campaigns to increase awareness of risk factors could help curb maternal mortality. Data shows that men, in particular, tend to underestimate maternal mortality risk, which may lead to their lower demand for contraception. Researchers are working with Zambia’s Ministry of Health and local NGOs to evaluate the impact of providing information to men and women about maternal mortality risk on knowledge of risk, demand for family planning, and maternal and child health outcomes. If the program has a positive impact, as pilot results suggest, the curriculum and its focus on men could be incorporated into existing community-based health initiatives in line with the Ministry of Health’s goal of increasing household family planning demand.
September 18, 2017