Maternal mortality at the Central Hospital, Benin City Nigeria: A ten year review
AbstractMaternal mortality remains a major challenge in Nigeria. This retrospective study was conceptualized to document the number and pattern of obstetric deaths at the Central Hospital, Benin City, over a ten year period, to identify common causes of maternal deaths and proffer relevant interventions. The overall maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was 518/100,000. MMR was 30 times higher in unbooked as compared to the booked patients, while 60% of maternal deaths occurred within 24 hours of admission. The leading direct causes of maternal deaths were sepsis, hemorrhage, obstructed labor and preeclampsia/ eclampsia, while the major indirect causes are institutional difficulties and anaemia. Low literacy, high poverty levels, extremes of parity and non-utilization of maternity services were
associated with maternal mortality. Recommendations are made for public enlightenment campaign and advocacy activities aimed at mobilizing resources for reducing maternal mortality. Also, female
education and poverty alleviation programmes will contribute to the reduction of the burden of maternal mortality (Afr J Reprod Health 2008; 12:17-26).
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