The article is part of the TRAction journal supplement How Households Identify and Respond to Illness: A Systematic Qualitative Study of Recognition and Care-Seeking in Seven Countries.
Although maternal and newborn mortality have decreased 44 and 46% respectively between 1990 and 2015, achievement of ambitious Sustainable Development Goal targets requires accelerated progress. Mortality reduction requires a renewed focus on the continuum of maternal and newborn care from the household to the health facility. Although barriers to accessing skilled care are documented for specific contexts, there is a lack of systematic evidence on how women and families identify maternal and newborn illness and make decisions and subsequent care-seeking patterns. The focus of this multi-country study was to identify and describe illness recognition, decision-making, and care-seeking patterns across various contexts among women and newborns who survived and died to ultimately inform programmatic priorities moving forward.