Globally 3 million stillbirths occur per year, and Pakistan is ranked 3rd
among the countries having the highest
burden. Despite being a major public health problem, efforts to reduce this figure are insufficient.
The aim of the study was to identify and measure the inequalities in stillbirth associated risk factors, causes and
fertility risk behaviors.
Data were derived from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys (PDHS) 1990-2013. Inequalities on determinants were evaluated using rate differences and rate ratios; time trends computed with annualized reduction rate (ARR).
Overall ARR determined for stillbirth was -12.52 percent per annum. The high ARR were recorded for mothers age
<20, urban areas, educated mothers and for highest wealth quintile. The relative inequalities were most pronounced for wealth
quintiles, education and age of mothers. Stillbirth causes were unexplained antepartum (33%), unexplained intrapartum (21%),
intrapartum asphyxia (21%) and antepartum maternal disorders (19%). The high fertility risk behavior was found in mothers
with age >34 and birth order >3.
The study concluded that to achieve gain in child survival, there is need to promote antenatal care, birth spacing,
and family planning programs in developing countries.
Cite as: Afshan K, Narjis G, M Q. Risk factors and causes of stillbirths among pregnant women in Pakistan. Afri Health Sci. 2019;19(1).