Annual distribution of births and deaths outcomes at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe
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Information on frequency and distribution of adverse birth outcomes is important for planning of maternal Introduction and child health care services world-wide, and knowledge of local patterns of morbidity and mortality is essential for improving antenatal and obstetric care. Perinatal mortality remains a challenge in the care of pregnant women worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Stillbirths, who form the highest number of perinatal deaths, are both common and devastating, and in developed countries, about one third has been shown to be of unknown or unexplained origin. The stillbirth rate is an important indicator of the quality of antenatal and obstetric care. Understanding the distribution of stillbirths helps to identify the quality of antenatal and obstetric care available to the pregnant women and to prioritize intervention strategies appropriately. Few studies from Zimbabwe'" have examined frequency of perinatal mortality and how this outcome varies across important demographic subgroups.