East African Medical Journal

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How safe is motherhood in Nigeria?: the trend of mammal mortality in a tertiary health institution

IAO Ujah, VE Uguru, AO Aisien, AS Sagay, JAM Otubu


Objective: To determine the magnitude and trend of maternal mortality in Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria.
Subject: AN women dying in pregnancy, labour and puerperium.
Main outcome measures: Maternal mortality ratio, trend of maternal mortality, age, antenatal booking status, educational status, main causes of maternal death, factors contributing to maternal deaths.
Results: The maternal mortality ratio was 739/100,000 total deliveries and trend rose from 450/100,000 in 1990 to 1,060/100,000 total deliveries in 1994. About 33% of all maternal deaths occurred among teenagers. The risk factors for maternal deaths included adolescence, grand multiparity, illiteracy and non-utilisation of antenatal services. The main causes of maternal mortality were haemorrhage (28.1%), sepsis (21.3%) and eclampsia (15.7%). The contributions of complicated induced abortion and anaesthetic deaths in this study are worthy of mention.
Conclusion: The maternal mortality ratio is unacceptably high in Jos University Teaching Hospital more particularly because of the rising trend. Socio-cultural and economic factors contributed immensely to the high maternal mortality in Jos. The objective of the World Health Organisation(WH0) to reduce maternal mortality by 50% by the year 2000 will not be achieved in this part of Nigeria. Nonetheless, improvement of the nation's economy coupled with a stable policy and provision of intrastructural facilities will assist to sigdicantly reduce maternal mortality.

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