Reducing maternal deaths in a low resource setting in Nigeria

  • EC Ezugwu
  • PU Agu
  • MO Nwoke
  • FO Ezugwu
Keywords: Eclampsia, guidelines, hemorrhage, low resource settings, maternal death, Nigeria


Objective: To assess the impact of the adoption of evidence based guidelines on maternal mortality reduction at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of all maternal deaths between 1st January, 2005 and 31st December, 2010 was carried out. Evidence based management guidelines for eclampsia and post‑partum hemorrhage were adopted. These interventions strategy were carried out from 1st January, 2008‑31st December, 2010 and the result compared with that before the interventions (2005‑2007). Main outcome measure: Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and case fatality rates.
Results: There were 9150 live births and 59 maternal deaths during the study period, giving an MMR of 645/100 000 live births. Pregnant women who had no antenatal care had almost 10 times higher MMR. There was 43.5% reduction in the MMR with the interventions (488 vs. 864/100 000 live births P = 0.039, odds ratio = 1.77). There was also significant reduction in case fatality rate for both eclampsia (15.8% vs. 2.7%; P = 0.024, odds ratio = 5.84 and Post partum hemorrhage (PPH) (13.6% vs. 2.5% P value = 0.023, odds ratio = 5.5. Obstetric hemorrhage was the most common cause of death (23.73%), followed by the eclampsia.
Conclusion: Administration of evidence based intervention is possible in low resource settings and could contribute to a significant reduction in the maternal deaths.

Key words: Eclampsia, guidelines, hemorrhage, low resource settings, maternal death, Nigeria


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eISSN: 1119-3077