Safe motherhood: A hidden reality in Pakistan

Shahnaz Shahid Ali, Tazeen Saeed Ali, Farzana Adnan, Nimira Asif, Zahid Memon, Samina Barkat, Sajid Soofi, Anum Shiraz Ali, Rozina Karmaliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore the perceptions and experiences of healthcare professionals, including female health visitors, female health workers, community midwives, and heads of departments of healthcare facilities, regarding the importance of the Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI), its pillars, and its foundational principles. Design: Qualitative descriptive exploratory study. Setting: This study was conducted in healthcare centres in 10 districts in Pakistan: six in Gilgit Baltistan, two in Chitral, and two in Sindh. Participants: Healthcare professionals were recruited using a purposive sampling technique. In total, 14 in-depth interviews were conducted. Findings: The following themes emerged through thematic analysis: (1) health and well-being of mothers and newborns; (2) strengthening the SMI pillars; (3) equity of health services; and (4) effective strategies for behaviour modification. Each theme had two categories. Key conclusions: The health and well-being of mothers and newborns are key indicators; as such, interventions should be made to promote their quality of life. Capacity building and refresher training on antenatal care, childbirth, postnatal care, postabortion care, and family planning can be considered effective to enhance the competencies of healthcare professionals. Implications for practice: The findings of this study suggest that healthcare professionals should receive training to enhance their competencies and provide safe care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103624
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Capacity building training
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Maternal mortality
  • Safe motherhood initiative


Dive into the research topics of 'Safe motherhood: A hidden reality in Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this