Maternal mortality and severe morbidity in a migrationperspective

T.H. van den Akker, J. van Roosmalen

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Among migrants in high-income countries, maternal mortality and severe morbidity generally occur more frequently as compared to host populations. There is marked variation between groups of migrants and host countries, with much elevated risks in some groups and no elevated risk at all in others. Those without a legal resident permit are most vulnerable. A reason for these elevated risks could be a different risk profile in migrants, but risk factors are unevenly distributed and not always present. Another reason is substandard care, which is identified more frequently in migrants, and comprises patient delays, for example, due to a lack of knowledge about the health system in the host country, and health worker delays, often compounded by communication barriers. Improvements in family planning and antenatal services are needed, and audits and confidential enquiries should be extended to include maternal morbidity and ethnic background. This requires scientific and political efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-38
JournalBaillière's Best Practice and Research. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Early online date10 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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