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Background: Maternal mortality ratios (MMR) are still unacceptably high in many low- and middle-income countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Background Data for the causes of maternal deaths are needed to inform policies to improve maternal healthcare and reduce maternal mortality.
Objective: This study sought to determine the magnitude and trend in maternal mortality and the causes at a tertiary hospital over a seven-year study period.
Methodology: This was a retrospective review of maternal mortality and causes from 2012 to 2018. Data on number of maternal deaths, deliveries and causes of death were retrieved from the departmental annual reports and hospital records and entered into Microsoft Excel 2013. Data were presented as line graphs, charts and frequency tables.
Results: One hundred and ten (110) maternal deaths occurred out of 17,080 total births during the study period giving an overall MMR of 644. The MMR increased progressively from 580 in 2012 to 785 in 2018 with a sharp rise to the highest and subsequent decline to the lowest, values at the midpoint. The commonest causes of maternal deaths were Pre-eclampsia (PET) and Eclampsia 44(40%), Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH) 25(22.7%) and Ruptured Uterus 13(11.8%).
Conclusion: The maternal mortality ratio is high and the trend is worsening. The leading causes of maternal deaths were PET/Eclampsia and Postpartum haemorrhage accounting for about two-thirds of all deaths. Efforts must be geared towards improvements in the management of these cases, if this trend is to be reversed.
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