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Maternal mortality and delay: Socio-demographic characteristics of maternal deaths with delay in Irrua, Nigeria
Background: Maternal mortality ratio of Nigeria is one of the highest globally. The delay in getting prompt and appropriate treatment in the event of a complication during pregnancy is one of the identified factors in maternal deaths. This study assessed the contribution of delay to maternal deaths and also determined the socio¬demographic characteristics of patients with maternal deaths with associated delay. Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study of all maternal deaths in Irrua specialist Teaching Hospital, Nigeria between January 1999 and December 2003. Statistical analysis was done using 1 tailed Fisher's exact test. The level of significance was inferred at p< 0.05 Results: The mortality ratio in the study period is 1747/100,000 live births. Delay was associated with 77.8% of all maternal deaths. Type I delay was the major problem contributing 57.1%. Identified risk factors for delay in this study are; unbooked status, low socio¬economic status and marital status. Conclusion: The recent launch of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria may improve access to health care of patients with pregnancy complications. Better living standards with improved social infrastructures as well as retraining of health personnel are also suggested.
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 16 (1) 2007: pp. 38-41