Trends and Causes of Maternal Mortality at the Wa Regional Hospital, Ghana: 2005-2010

Type Journal Article - Ghana Journal of Development Studies
Title Trends and Causes of Maternal Mortality at the Wa Regional Hospital, Ghana: 2005-2010
Volume 13
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 80-96
Maternal mortality has been a health concern for many developing countries. The study undertook
a comprehensive maternal mortality audit at the Wa Regional Hospital in order to discover the
trends and causes of maternal mortality at the hospital, and suggest ways of improving the
situation. The study involved a retrospective examination of maternal mortality cases from January
1, 2005 to December 31, 2010. It included all pregnancy related deaths at the hospital within this
period. A gynecologist and midwives served as key informants who provided primary data to
augment the secondary data collected. Results showed a total of 73 maternal deaths occurred out
of 14027 live births, giving a maternal mortality ratio of 520.4 per 100,000 live births. The yearly
maternal mortality ratios saw an undulating scenario. On the specific causes of death, direct causes
accounted for 60%, while indirect causes were 40%. Medically, haemorrhage (19%), Eclampsia (15%),
Sepsis (11%), abortion related difficulties (8%) and obstructed labour (7%) were the main causes
of mortality. Indirect causes include malaria, aneamia, sickle cell, HIV-Aids and TB. The trends of
maternal mortality in the Upper West Regional Hospital over the period have seen a decline, but
the decline is not significant enough. The number of women still dying from trying to bring life is
unacceptably high. Key recommendations include the need to: improve emergency obstetric care
by ensuring that there are enough personnel, logistics and facilities to attend to women who are in
labour, especially 12 hours prior to delivery and after delivery.

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