On Reducing Maternal Mortality in Mexico: From Access to Care to Quality of Care

Rosario Cardenas, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
Graciela Freyermuth, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social
Paola Sesia, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social

In spite of steady reductions in the level of mortality in Mexico, maternal deaths continue to be a major cause of concern in women's health. Using information from vital statistics and verbal autopsies, our study shows that lack of access to health services is not necessarily the main reason for the persistence of maternal deaths. Drawing from fieldwork in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, we also argue that it is important to understand regional differences in order to ascertain why women die of maternal causes in specific regions and states of the country. In particular in the case of Chiapas, we conclude that the most important issue is the reorganization of health services and the restructuring of medical training. It is necessary to implement an effective referral system between primary care clinics and hospitals as well as to establish a working relationship between medical personnel and traditional birth attendants.

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Presented in Session 173: Reproductive Health and Mortality in the Developing World