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Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) Interventions - 18% Reduction in Neonatal Mortality Risk


Strategy researched

Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) interventions - often using community health workers and health promotion groups or women's groups and often incorporating community mobilisation activities - that engage women, families, and communities during the prenatal, postnatal, and neonatal periods to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in developing countries

Impact achieved

Meta-analyses of 14 randomised studies (292,256 live births) showed that exposure to BPCR interventions was associated with a statistically significant reduction of 18% in neonatal mortality risk (12 studies, relative risk (RR) = 0.82; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.74, 0.91) and a non-significant reduction of 28% in maternal mortality risk (7 studies, RR = 0.72; 95% CI: 0.46, 1.13). Results were highly heterogeneous (I2 = 76%, p < 0.001 and I2 = 72%, p = 0.002 for neonatal and maternal results, respectively).

Country of study

Developing countries

Research methodology

Systematic review


BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth; 2014

Journal paper title and link

Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) interventions to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in developing countries: systematic review and meta-analysis

Excerpt from Abstract

"Pooled results revealed that BPCR interventions were also associated with increased likelihood of use of care in the event of newborn illness, clean cutting of the umbilical cord and initiation of breastfeeding in the first hour of life....With adequate population coverage, BPCR interventions are effective in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in low-resources settings."

Summary at this link


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  • Published since 2010.