Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Methodological considerations in implementing the WHO Global Survey for Monitoring Maternal and Perinatal Health

Archana Shah, Anibal Faundes, M'Imunya Machoki, Vicente Bataglia, Faouzi Amokrane, Allan Donner, Kidza Mugerwa, Guillermo Carroli, Bukola Fawole, Ana Langer, Jean José Wolomby, Alberto Naravaez, Idi Nafiou, Marius Kublickas, Eliette Valladares, Alejandro Velasco, Nelly Zavaleta, Isilda Neves, José Villar


To set up a global system for monitoring maternal and perinatal health in 54 countries worldwide.


The WHO Global Survey for Monitoring Maternal and Perinatal Health was implemented through a network of health institutions, selected using a stratified multistage cluster sampling design. Focused information on maternal and perinatal health was abstracted from hospital records and entered in a specially developed online data management system. Data were collected over a two- to three-month period in each institution. The project was coordinated by WHO and supported by WHO regional offices and country coordinators in Africa and the Americas.


The initial survey was implemented between September 2004 and March 2005 in the African and American regions. A total of 125 institutions in seven African countries and 119 institutions in eight Latin American countries participated.


This project has created a technologically simple and scientifically sound system for large-scale data management, which can facilitate programme monitoring in countries.