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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1998 Apr;92(3):257-63.

Malaria-related maternal mortality in urban Mozambique.

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Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique.


All pregnancy-related maternal deaths that occurred at the central hospital of Maputo during the 5 years between 1989 and 1993 were reviewed. The 239 maternal deaths recorded represented a maternal mortality ratio of 320/100,000 live births. Overall, 15.5% of the deaths were directly attributable to malaria, and 19.7% of the women who died were found to be parasitaemic (with Plasmodium falciparum) prior to death. Autopsies on 161 of the women who died showed histological evidence of malarial infection in the spleens of 44 (27.3%). Many (37.8%) of the malaria-related deaths occurred in adolescent primigravidae, and most were associated with severe anaemia. Pregnancy outcome was generally poor. Unbooked deliveries, and poor antenatal care were identified as risk factors for maternal death from malaria. The current policy of prescribing antimalarials in pregnancy based on symptomatic malaria alone should be reviewed. Improved primary prevention is required in order to reduce the high risk of malaria-related mortality in all pregnant women in the urban study area, especially among adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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