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Maternal mortality at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Southeast Nigeria: a 10-year review (2003–2012)

Authors Obiechina NJ, Okolie VE, Okechukwu ZC, Oguejiofor CF, Udegbunam OI, Nwajiaku LSA, Ogbuokiri C, Egeonu R

Received 20 April 2013

Accepted for publication 29 May 2013

Published 23 July 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 431—436


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

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NJ Obiechina, VE Okolie, ZC Okechukwu, CF Oguejiofor, OI Udegbunam, LSA Nwajiaku, C Ogbuokiri, R Egeonu

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria

Background: Maternal mortality is high the world over, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria. Nigeria has consistently demonstrated one of the most abysmally poor reproductive health indices in the world, maternal mortality inclusive. This is a sad reminder that, unless things are better organized, Southeast Nigeria, which Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) represents, may not join other parts of the world in attaining Millennium Development Goal 5 to improve maternal health in 2015.
Objectives: This study was conducted to assess NAUTH'S progress in achieving a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and to identify the major causes of maternal mortality.
Materials and methods: This was a 10-year retrospective study, conducted between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2012 at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Southeast Nigeria.
Results: During the study period, there were 8,022 live births and 103 maternal deaths, giving an MMR of 1,284/100,000 live births. The MMR was 1,709 in 2003, reducing to 1,115 in 2012. This is to say that there was a 24.86% reduction over 10 years, hence, in 15 years, the reduction should be 37%. This extrapolated reduction over 15 years is about 38% less than the target of 75% reduction. The major direct causes of maternal mortality in this study were: pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (27%), hemorrhage (22%), and sepsis (12%). The indirect causes were: anemia, anesthesia, and HIV encephalopathy. Most of the maternal deaths occurred in unbooked patients (98%) and within the first 48 hours of admission (76%).
Conclusion: MMRs in NAUTH are still very high and the rate of reduction is very slow. At this rate, it will take this health facility 30 years, instead of 15 years, to achieve a 75% reduction in maternal mortality.

Keywords: maternal mortality, MDG-5, 2015, achievability, causes, NAUTH, Southeast Nigeria

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