Maternal Mortality At St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha: A Six Year Review

  • NJA Obiechina Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria
  • CB Udegbe Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria
Keywords: Maternal death, Prevention of maternal death, Causes of mortality


Objective: To determine the causes and rate of maternal mortality at St. Charles Borromeo Hospital Onitsha and compare these with other parts of the country.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of maternal deaths over a six year period at St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha was done.

Results: Between period January 1995 and December 2000, 6179 births were recorded, the maternal deaths were 49, giving a maternal mortality rate of 793/100,000 births. The ages of the dead mothers ranged from 16 - 46 years, with a mean of 28.43 years, standard deviation of 8.68. Causes of maternal deaths include haemorrhage (37%), septic abortion (17.4%), anaemia (13%), pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (8.7%), genital sepsis (6.5%), while the least were anaesthetic death (2.2%) and cerebral malaria (2.2%). Booked patients constituted (41.3%) while unbooked patients accounted for (58.7%) of the maternal death.

Conclusion: Major causes of maternal death identified in this study are preventable. Measures to reduce maternal deaths include education of the women to use obstetric facilities, early referral of patients to specialist centres, and provision of blood transfusion services.

Key Words: Maternal death, Prevention of maternal death, Causes of mortality

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.15(3&4) 2003: 26-30

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eISSN: 1115-0521