In a prospective community based study of the distribution and determinants of stillbirths in a rural area of Maharashtra, India, that was carried out for two years, 3129 singleton and 22 twin births were recorded in a population of 47 000. Of the 3173 babies, 85 singletons and five of the twins were stillborn giving a stillbirth rate of 28.4/1000 births. The causes of stillbirths are analysed and the possibility of reducing the unacceptably high stillbirth rate by adequate training of grassroot level workers in screening pregnant women for detection of "at risk" mothers and their timely referral is discussed.
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