Tuberculosis in association with HIV/AIDS emerges as a major nonobstetric cause of maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010 Mar;108(3):181-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.12.005. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


Every year, approximately 250,000 African women die during pregnancy, delivery, or the puerperium. Maternal mortality rates due to infectious diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa now supersede mortality from obstetric causes. Evidence is accumulating that tuberculosis associated with HIV/AIDS, malaria, sepsis, and other opportunistic infections are the main infectious causes of maternal deaths. Screening for these killer infections within prenatal healthcare programs is essential at this stage to prevent and treat causes of maternal mortality. The combination of proven effective interventions that avert the greatest number of maternal deaths should be prioritized and expanded to cover the greatest number of women at risk, and incorporated into a "prophylaxis and treatment community package of care." The effectiveness of these "packages of care" will need to be determined subsequently. Maternal deaths from tuberculosis are now on the increase in the UK, and due diligence and watchful surveillance are required in European prenatal services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / mortality*
  • Tuberculosis / mortality*