Social Aspects of Maternal Mortality: A Case Study of the State of Mexico
AbstractWe now have evidence that maternal deaths result from a set of social, economic, biological and logistical problems in health services. However, the approach used to address these problems is still essentially medical. In this study we examined some of the social determinants of maternal deaths between 2004 and 2006 in the State of Mexico. To do this we reviewed clinical files and used verbal autopsies. The medical causes of maternal death were similar to those reported in previous studies. 80% were a result of direct causes: the low socio-economic level of the deceased women was the fundamental determinant of mortality, in that it limits access to education, income, adequate nutrition, and medical care. This situation negatively affects a woman's ability to make health related decisions. It is important to consider that when a young woman becomes pregnant, it is the beginning of a long term social and economic responsibility for which they lack appropriate resources. In conjunction with limited work opportunities, this situation perpetuates a vicious circle of poverty.