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March 2016

Dear Action Network members,
Welcome to our first MDSR Action Network newsletter for 2016!
Entering into a new year, we have changed the design of the newsletter, so that you can read the content directly from the MDSR Action Network website. Just follow the links on the right to the case study, resources, and updates you want to learn and be inspired from!
In this edition, we focus on engaging the community in Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR), or key components of the MDSR process.
As Samiksha Singh and colleagues remind us in their article on community Maternal Death Reviews (MDRs), “maternal death is as much a social phenomenon as a medical event”.  Involving the community is essential so that we can learn more about the individual, familial, socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors that might have contributed to a maternal death. Moreover, ensuring that this information from MDRs is fed-back to the community is just as important as feeding back to the facility, sub-national or national level. As this edition’s case study from Malawi shows, communicating death review findings with the community-level ensures that action is taken so that maternal deaths due to the same root-causes are prevented.  
In this edition:
  • Be inspired and challenged by a case study on implementing community-MDSR in Mchinji District, Malawi
  • Learn from:
    • The value of community-based notification systems
    • Involving the community in death reviews and inquiries
    • Using technology to support community-based death notification and verbal autopsies
    • Resources hot off the press!
  • Read about MDSR in action with updates from around the world, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania
And finally…
We want to find out more from our members on how we can better connect you together. We will be sending out a short survey in the next couple of weeks for you to share your views on this. Please look out for the survey and share your responses!
And remember, please keep sharing your stories and publications. We look forward to them!


Inspire | case study

Be inspired about Malawi’s community-MDSR system in Mchinji District. Read the full case study here.

Learn | resources

Community-based notification systems
Learn from the value of community-based notification systems from Ghana and Bangladesh.
Community-based death reviews and inquiries
Learn from involving the community in death reviews and inquiries. Resources are available from Malawi, Bangladesh, and three from India: maternal deaths in Unnao District, a civil society report, and the MAPEDIR tool  
Using technology
Learn from using technology to support community-based death notification and verbal autopsies in Ghana and Senegal
Resources hot off the press!
The "Maternal Death Audit Monitoring Form" in Ghana

Maternal death audits in Rwanda

Maternal death reviews in Tanzania

Gender mainstreaming MDSR in Africa

Act | updates

Read about scaling-up Maternal and Perinatal Death Reviews.
Learn about the new continuing  medical education module in MDSR, the latest Ethiopia newsletter, and a presentation on strengthening the MDSR system.
Be inspired by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death system in Kerala.
Find out about the Maternal and Newborn Initiative’s work in implementing MPDSR.
Read about Nigeria’s focus on developing the community component of MPDSR and using evidence for action.
Sierra Leone
Learn about the introduction of MDSR.
Here is a short update on rolling-out MPDSR.

Keep in Touch

We are always interested in hearing from you and receiving your news and views! You can write to us at
Evidence for Action hosts the Maternal Death Surveillance and Response Action Network on behalf of
the World Health Organization’s Maternal Death Surveillance and Response Working Group
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