Maternal mortality in rural areas of Dodoma region, Tanzania: a qualitative study

Madan Mohan Laddunuri
Dodoma University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tanzania

Korespondenční autor: Madan Mohan Laddunuri (

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
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Submitted:8. 10. 2012
Accepted: 13. 5. 2013
Published online: 28. 6. 2013


Introduction: High rate of maternal death is one of the major public health concerns in Tanzania. In Tanzania, the estimated Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is 454 per 100,000 live births. The main objective of the present study is to find out the contributing factors to maternal mortality in rural areas of Dodoma region, Tanzania. Material and methods: The verbal autopsy technique was used to reconstruct “the road to maternal death”. A structured and open-ended questionnaire was developed on the basis of the “three delays” model: delay in the decision to seek care, delay in arrival at a health facility and delay in the provision of adequate care. The sample comprised 20 cases, 4 for each district of Dodoma, Tanzania. Data were collected by conducting in-depth interviews with close relatives or family members of the deceased women and those who accompanied her between the time the illness developed and death. Results: The following incidents lead to delay in receiving appropriate medical care and eventually lead to the death of the pregnant woman in the study area: underestimation of the severity of the complication, bad experiences with the health care system, delay in reaching an appropriate medical facility, lack of transportation and delay in receiving appropriate care after reaching the hospital. Conclusion: This study reveals that women do try to reach adequate health services when an emergency occurs, but that there are many obstacles that delay this process. Improving the accessibility and quality of emergency obstetric care services in the area is necessary if maternal deaths are to be prevented.

Keywords: causes; delays; maternal death


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