Introduction: ln 1996 a review of maternal deaths in Sri Lanka had shown that some maternal deaths escape identification in the nationaI statistics.
Objective: This study was designed to find out the escaped deaths of pregnant mothers in Anuradhapura district from 2007-2009.
Method: A data collection and an analytic study. Data collected from maternal death review reports (H677a & H677) from the RDHS office in Anuradhapura district (AD), of 2007-09. Data collection was done during May-July 2011.
Results: Total 41 deaths during pregnancy and post partum. Majority (44.8%) of women were in their 1st pregnancy. 51.7% of the deaths had occurred during the antenatal period. 55% of these women, who died during the pregnancy, were between 25-35 yrs of age. Leading cause of death among pregnant mothers in Anuradhapura district, during 2007- 2009, is suicide. The 2nd & 3rd leading cause of maternal death in AD in years 2007-09 were post partum haemorrhage (PPH) and heart disease (HD) complicating pregnancy. There was only one documented maternal death due to septic abortion during these 3 years.
Conclusion: According to the WHO definition of maternal deaths suicides are categorized as "accidental or incidental cause". Therefore it is not been reviewed in the annual maternal death reviews and not taken ln to the national statistics of MMR.