Maternal deaths and vulnerable migrants.

Lancet. 2008 Mar 15;371(9616):879-81. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60393-1.FREE

Maternal deaths and vulnerable migrants.

Bragg R.

Reaching Out Project, Medact, London N1 6HT, UK.


Media coverage of the recent UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) report focused on the risks associated with obesity, but largely ignored the findings about vulnerable migrants. Maternal mortality is six times higher for black African women and four times higher for black Caribbean women than for white women in the UK. Although some of the causes are understood, there are new factors that warrant further investigation.

Unsatisfactory arrangements for interpretation and lack of awareness of female genital cutting are documented in the report. Five women who were murdered by their partners had the abusive partner as their interpreter. For one woman, late identification of genital cutting led to an unnecessary caesarean section and may have directly contributed to her death. Migration from countries in which the practice is common has led to increased prevalence of genital cutting among pregnant women in the UK…

This paper can be accessed in this LINK