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Maternal morbidity and mortality in a remote region of northern Tanzania

Moke Magoma, MD, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Ngarenaro Street, Arusha, Tanzania, 255-744-284-691, mokemagoma@hotmail.com, Trude Bennett, DrPH, Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Rosenau Hall, CB #7445, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7445, Brooke R. Johnson, PhD, Ipas, 300 Market Street, Suite 200, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, and Paul W. Leslie, PhD, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 123 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.

Background: A multidisciplinary research team conducted a comparative, longitudinal study of HIV, syphilis, other maternal morbidities, and mortality among pregnant women in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania. The paper relates data on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and maternal deaths to involvement of women’s sexual partners in labor migration in an area where such migration has only recently begun.

Methods: Investigators employed qualitative and quantitative methods including semi-structured individual and group interviews; specimen (blood and urine) collection for pregnancy, syphilis, and anonymous HIV testing; on-site counseling and treatment for women with syphilis. The study cohort consists of all pregnant women identified through attendance and testing at 67 mobile antenatal clinics.

Results: In a sample that included >90% of the pregnant women in the district (N=2497), 2.2% had HIV, 4.5% had syphilis, 0.4% had both HIV and syphilis, and 9.7% had partners working outside the district. The association between incidence of HIV and urban migration among women’s sexual partners is clear but varies spatially.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives