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Afr J Reprod Health. 2013 Mar;17(1):41-8.

An assessment of essential maternal health services in Kwara State, Nigeria.

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University of Ilorin, College of Health Sciences, Department of Obstetrivs and Gynaecology.


The objective of this study is to evaluate the levels of emergency obstetrics care (EOC) signal functions in health facilities in a developing setting with high maternal morbidity and mortality indices and to determine if there are differences between public and private health facilities in terms of availability of these signal functions. A survey of health facilities was carried out in six of the 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kwara State Nigeria. All health facilities in these LGAs including public and private health facilities offering some services to pregnant women were surveyed using an interviewer- administered, facility-assessment questionnaire adapted from the WHO/UNFPA/UNICEF international guidelines for monitoring the availability and use of obstetric services. Frequency tables, percentages and charts were used for presenting the data. Comparing public and private facilities was done using chi-square tests. A total of 258 health facilities that provide maternal health services were surveyed in this study, out of which 76 (29.5%) were private facilities and 182 (70.5%) were public sector facilities. Most of the UN indicators were not met by the health facilities in Kwara state. The availability of EOC facilities was more among the private sector and this was statistically significant. This study shows that all stakeholders involved in reducing maternal mortality have a big challenge in the areas of availability, inequity in geographical distribution of EOC facilities and poor utilisation of these EOC services by women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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