NAMHHR was represented by Jashodhara Dasgupta, YK Sandhya and Sashi Bindhani in a workshop Dead Women Talking, organized jointly by CHAD (CMC, Vellore), CommonHealth and Sama in Chennai on 2nd and 3rd June, 2012.The objective of the workshop was to share the various experiences and cases of maternal mortality from different parts of the country. This sharing set the context for evolving a framework and developing tools that would enable maternal death reviews to be analysed comprehensively from an overarching framework of accountability and move beyond the narrow ambit of medical maternal death audits that were being conducted at present. The meeting was successful in creating a consensus on the need for the modification of the existing tools and process of maternal death audits, to include four thematic areas, namely: i) Exclusion and Power ii) Social Determinants iii) addressing rights within the health system, and iv) health system related issues.
Members from organisations working on the issue of maternal deaths from various state of the country participated in the discussions. NAMHHR participants joined the other feminist and rights-based groups in emphasizing the human rights angle and the issue of social justice in the framework proposed for the analysis of maternal deaths. As a follow up, NAMHHR members will work with other allies to prepare a revised MDR tool and Framework of Analysis that will be used to build capacities of civil soceity groups in September towards carrying out a pilot effort to review maternal deaths across several locations in India.