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Measuring Maternal Mortality and Morbidity in Canada

      Abstract

      Maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity are devastating for women, their families, and care providers. International efforts have been made to develop and to implement data collection, management, and surveillance systems that capture pregnancy-related information that can be assessed and used to improve health and system outcomes. At present, Canada does not have a national enquiry process to review maternal deaths, severe morbidity, and near misses, and has not set targets for maternal mortality reduction.
      Maternal mortality rates are critical measures of maternal health and provide important information for analysis of trends and priorities among and within countries. Information about near misses as well as maternal morbidity is crucial to truly understand and to prevent maternal mortality.
      Canadian experts must work together with governments, provinces, and territories to determine key indicators, measurement, and meaningful data analysis strategies. These data and their comparisons will form the foundation of evidence to guide programs, policies, priorities, and interventions that will ultimately improve the health of mothers and their children.

      Résumé

      La mortalité maternelle et la morbidité maternelle grave ont des répercussions terribles sur les femmes, les familles et les fournisseurs de soins. Partout sur la planète, on travaille à concevoir et à mettre en œuvre des systèmes de collecte de données, de prise en charge et de surveillance destinés à recueillir les données relatives aux grossesses pour qu'elles soient évaluées et qu'elles servent à améliorer la santé des patientes et les résultats du système de santé. À l'heure actuelle, le Canada ne s'est pas doté d'un processus d'enquête national pour étudier les décès maternels, la morbidité maternelle grave ainsi que les morbidités et les décès évités de justesse, et ne s'est pas fixé de cible pour la réduction de la mortalité maternelle.
      Le taux de mortalité maternelle, une mesure essentielle de la santé maternelle, fournit des renseignements importants pour l'analyse des tendances et des priorités nationales et internationales. Les renseignements sur les morbidités maternelles et les incidents évités de justesse sont indispensables pour bien comprendre et prévenir la mortalité maternelle.
      Les experts canadiens devront collaborer avec les gouvernements, les provinces et les territoires pour définir des indicateurs clés, déterminer des mesures et élaborer des stratégies concrètes d'analyse des données. Les données recueillies et leur comparaison à des valeurs de référence seront utilisées pour établir un cadre factuel guidant les politiques, les priorités, les interventions et les programmes qui permettront d'améliorer la santé des mères et de leurs enfants.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      APHP (Alberta Perinatal Health Program), BCPDR (British Columbia Perinatal Data Registry), BORN (Better Outcomes Registry & Network), CEMD (Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death), CIHI (Canadian Institute of Health Information), CPSS (Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System), CRVS (civil registration and vital statistics), MDR (maternal death review), MDSR (Maternal Death Surveillance and Response), PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada), PSBC (Perinatal Services British Columbia), UKOSS (United Kingdom Obstetric Surveillance System)
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