Generating Evidence for Ending Preventable Maternal Deaths

GEEPMD posts and NEWS…

Introduction to GEEPMD by project partners


Public health midwives (PHMs) in Anuradhapura district register around 17,000 pregnant mothers every year with around 14,000 deliveries.
The public health information system data in 2017-18 shows that 30-50% of these mothers (up to 8000) are having low hemoglobin levels.
Our previous studies shows that pregnant mothers in Anuradhapura undergo various ill health conditions;
1. High blood glucose level during pregnancy 10.6% (~1700 mothers annually)
2. Anxiety and depression during pregnancy 16% (~2720 mothers)
3. Depression after child birth 27% (~4500 mothers)

Reanalysis of maternal deaths in the province shows that suicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum mothers. During a three year period from 2013-16, are than 150 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers were hospitalized in one area, due to intentional self-hram.

In addition to these leading issues, heart disease in pregnancy, non communicable diseases, weight gain during pregnancy, low birth weight and related neonatal complications are also major health issues related to the maternal care programme in Anuradhapura.

What are we going to do?

We want to improve the lives of pregnant mothers and newborn children in Anuradhapura through evidence based interventions and policy changes.

Our work will include, health promotion, investigation and treating the underlying causes of anemia, early identification of heart diseases, gestational diabetes, liver diseases, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and mental health problems during pregnancy.

Our in-depth exploration of maternal ill health will provide us evidence for policy changes in maternal care. The collaboration with the provincial health department will ensure that the policy changes will take place.

Our collaborators

We have multiple project partners involved in this work. Academics, practitioners, funding agencies and individual contributors. The lead institute is the Maternal and Child Health Research Unit, DoCM, FMAS, RUSL. All planning and implementations are done with the medcial officer maternal and child health (MOMCH) and the consultant community physician (CCP) of Anuradhapura district.
The reserch component of the project is funded through the AHEAD grant of UGC, World Bank. We also received funding support from other organizations and individuals.

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (RUSL) project staff

DoCM is leading the project and six other departments from FMAS are collaborating with us. Faculty of Social Sciences is the main collaborator from The RUSL.


GEEPMD is funded by the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development (AHEAD) Operation of the Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka.(

Under the Results Area 3 of AHEAD, GEEPMD has received a funding for Development- Oriented Research (DOR) in universities and non-state HEIs.
AHEAD is a World Bank funded Sri Lankan government operation to support the higher education sector