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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Jun;26(9):885-8. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.765851. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Maternal deaths: initial report of an on-going monitoring of maternal deaths at the Federal Medical Centre Katsina, Northwest Nigeria.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.



To assess the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) from data collected as maternal deaths occurred over a 4-year period.


A Departmental database established in 2008 was used to keep data on deliveries and maternal deaths as they occurred. The causes of death were decided after a meeting reviewed the case. Analysis was done using Microsoft Excel software and results presented in means and frequencies.


Eight thousand two hundred and twenty live deliveries that occurred were complicated by 68 maternal deaths. The MMR was 827/100‚ÄČ000 live births. The MMR for unbooked women was four times higher than for booked women. Obstetric haemorrhage was the main (21.6%) direct cause of death followed by preeclampsia/eclampsia (18.9%). While anaemia was the leading (8.1%) indirect cause of death, tetanus in the puerperium reared its head as an emerging (5.4%) indirect cause of maternal death. None of the women ever used contraceptives. Most deaths occurred in teenage mothers (23.5%), unbooked women (86%) and in the postpartum period (69%).


The MMR was high and tetanus in puerperium emerged as an indirect cause of maternal deaths. There is a need to curb the emergence of tetanus in the puerperium as a cause of maternal death.

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