Maternal Mortality Trend in Ethiopia
AbstractBackground: Maternal mortality ratio is one of the indicators in the MDG that is raising concern in achieving the set target of reducing the rate by two-third by 2015.
Objectives: To review the maternal mortality trend and the causes of maternal deaths in Ethiopia. Methods: Review of published and unpublished documents addressing maternal mortality in Ethiopia. Result: DHS and hospital data indicate decreasing maternal mortality even though the current maternal mortality ratio is still high. The proportion of maternal deaths due to the each of the five major causes varies with time. Generally, the limited information indicates that the proportion of maternal deaths after unsafe abortion is decreasing while deaths after preeclampsia/ eclampsia are increasing. There is no grossly notable change in the proportion of deaths due to ruptured uterus/ obstructed labor, hemorrhage and sepsis. In recent studies, maternal deaths following hepatitis are not reported while deaths due to HIV are appearing. Deaths complicated by malaria are seen in certain parts of the country. The case fatality rates of preeclampsia/eclampsia and ruptured uterus/ obstructed labor are increasing. Conclusion: Even though the review is constrained by inadequate data and interpretation uncertainty of the findings, it generally indicates the urgent need of improving the quality of maternal health services; scaling up evidence based interventions; and measuring progress. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2010;24 Special Issue 1:115-122]