Maternal Mortality in the First Year of the New Millennium at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
AbstractAim: To highlight the tragedy posed by unbooked obstetric emergencies.
Method: All the obstetric deaths in the year 2000 were recorded. Analyses were made of such aspects as distribution of death according to booking status, major direct obstetric causes of death, state of mother and baby on admission, duration of stay and mode of delivery in hospital before death occurred and source of admission of the unbooked mothers.
Results: In a period of 12 months from January 1 to December 31, 2000, a total of 1809 mothers delivered at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Port Harcourt. One thousand five hundred and sixty two (86.3%) were booked while 247 (13.7%) were unbooked. There were 18 maternal deaths; 2 among the booked mothers and 16 among the unbooked mothers, constituting a maternal mortality ratio of 128 and 6,478 per 100,000 deliveries respectively. The combined maternal mortality ratio for both booked and unbooked mothers was 995.0 per 100,000 deliveries. The major avoidable social factor in maternal mortality here is the lack of antenatal care and also the unorganized maternity referral system in Port Harcourt.
Conclusion: Any intervention to reduce maternal mortality here should be directed towards eliminating poverty, illiteracy and ignorance which are the major factors that create the unbooked mothers.
Key Words: First year, New millennium, maternal mortality, Port Harcourt
Journal of College of Medicine Vol.9(1) 2004: 25-27