Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
RODRIGUES, Ana Verônica and SIQUEIRA, Arnaldo A. Franco de. An analysis of the implementation of Committees on Maternal Mortality in Brazil: a case study of the São Paulo State Committee. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.1, pp.183-189. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000100020.
The precarious available information and difficulties in obtaining consistent data on maternal deaths in Brazil raise doubts as to the reliability of official statistics. The Committees on Maternal Mortality are considered an important strategy for overcoming these difficulties. This article discusses certain aspects of the Committees' performance, based on the case of the State of São Paulo, demonstrating the Committee's role as a policy and advocacy instrument, thus going beyond merely an epidemiological surveillance strategy. This position has produced impasses in the work involving investigation of maternal deaths, and the resulting adversities, including limited institutional authority and power to intervene, have greatly jeopardized its functions both in the technical and political arenas. The Committee should be repositioned in order to strengthen itself as both a mechanism for investigation and a collective stakeholder to propose measures for the prevention and reduction of maternal mortality.
Keywords : Maternal Mortality; Women's Health; Professional Staff Committees.