Maternal Mortality In Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu: A Fiveyear Review

  • BU Ezem
  • C Okeudo


Background: A maternal death is a calamity particularly for the immediate family members. Maternal mortality ratio is high in most developing countries. Although many studies have been carried out on maternal mortality in many parts of Nigeria there is a dearth of information on maternal mortality ratio in Imo State. The establishment of a teaching hospital in Orlu in the year 2004 afforded us the opportunity to determine the maternal mortality ratio in a tertiary centre in Imo State.
Objective: To determine the maternal mortality ratio and causes of maternal deaths in Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu.
Method: This is a retrospective study of maternal deaths between 1 January 2005 and December 31 2009.
Result: Thirty seven maternal deaths occurred during the period of the study giving a maternal mortality ratio of 9,809 in unbooked patients, 118 in booked patients and 3,038 per 100,000 in all patients combined. The major causes of death were puerperal sepsis(20.6%) ,obstructed labour(17.6%),severe preeclampsia and eclampsia (14.7%) and abortion related cases (14.7%). Haemorrhage was the cause of death in one (2.9%) patient. Primigravida were the most vulnerable group accounting for 32.4% of all deaths.
Conclusion: The tragedy of maternal death continues unabated. Most deaths were avoidable. The government needs to show strong commitment to reducing maternal mortality. Measures suggested include free maternity services, legalisation of abortion, training of midwives, improved family planning services and strategic siting of emergency obstetric service centres.

Keywords: maternal mortality, tertiary centre, Orlu, Nigeria


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eISSN: 1597-1260