MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND INDIGENOUS MEDICAL SERVICES
Sri Lanka excels in stillbirth and early neonatal death reduction 2019-05-24
Sri Lanka has done excellent in reducing babies dying in utero after 28 weeks of gestation (stillbirths) and within 7 days after birth (early neonatal deaths), revealed in the latest report published by the Family Health Bureau, Ministry of Health.
In a background of very low maternal and infant deaths, the country has placed reduction of perinatal deaths high in the health agenda. The period from 28 weeks of gestation up to 7 days after birth is considered as the “Perinatal Period”. The stillbirths and early neonatal deaths occurring in this period is termed “Perinatal Deaths”. All hospitals in the country with an obstetrician or a paediatrician are reporting perinatal deaths. Each perinatal death is discussed and actions to prevent similar deaths are formulated at a monthly perinatal mortality conference conducted at all specialized hospitals. This mechanism was started in the country in the year 2006 and Sri Lanka is the only country in the region having a national perinatal death surveillance and response system. The system evolved over the years with the addition of numerous quality dimensions over the last 12 years. Achieving 100% coverage in conducting the mechanism in target hospitals (2013), individual death reporting (2014), inclusion of ICD-Perinatal Mortality classification (2015), introducing pathological postmortems(2016) and establishment of a national database are among the milestones reached......