Society of African Journal Editors

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

Reducing maternal deaths in a low resource setting in Nigeria

Authors: EC Ezugwu, PU Agu, MO Nwoke, FO Ezugwu

Journal: Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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 1 st January, 2005 and 31 st December, 2010 was carried out. Evidence based management guidelines for eclampsia and post-partum hemorrhage were adopted. These interventions strategy were carried out from 1 st January, 2008-31 st 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.