From planning to practice : building the national network for the surveillance of severe maternal morbidity
Haddad, Samira M.; Cecatti, Jose G.; Parpinelli, Mary A.; Souza, Joao P.; Costa, Maria L.; Sousa, Maria H.; Surita, Fernanda G.; Pinto e Silva, Joao L.; Pacagnella, Rodolfo C.; Camargo, Rodrigo S.; Bahamondes, Maria V.; Zotareli, Vilma; Gurgel, Lucio T.; Say, Lale; Pattinson, Robert Clive; Pattinson, Bob
BACKROUND: Improving maternal health is one of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015. Recently some
progress has been achieved in reducing mortality. On the other hand, in developed regions, maternal death is a
relatively rare event compared to the number of cases of morbidity; hence studying maternal morbidity has
become more relevant. Electronic surveillance systems may improve research by facilitating complete data
reporting and reducing the time required for data collection and analysis. Therefore the purpose of this study was
to describe the methods used in elaborating and implementing the National Network for the Surveillance of
Severe Maternal Morbidity in Brazil.
METHODS: The project consisted of a multicenter, cross-sectional study for the surveillance of severe maternal
morbidity including near-miss, in Brazil.
RESULTS: Following the development of a conceptual framework, centers were selected for inclusion in the
network, consensus meetings were held among the centers, an electronic data collection system was identified,
specific software and hardware tools were developed, research material was prepared, and the implementation
process was initiated and analyzed.
CONCLUSION: The conceptual framework developed for this network was based on the experience acquired in
various studies carried out in the area over recent years and encompasses maternal and perinatal health. It is
innovative especially in the context of a developing country. The implementation of the project represents the first
step towards this planned management. The system online elaborated for this surveillance network may be used
in further studies in reproductive and perinatal health.