Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 261-265

Awareness and perception of maternal mortality among women in a semi-urban community in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, University of Benin, Nigeria
3 Baptist Medical Centre, Eku, Delta State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
G O Igberase
P.O. Box 4246, Warri, Delta State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.59582

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Background: Maternal mortality rates are very high in Nigeria. Increased level of awareness and perception will reduce maternal mortality rates. Objective: The study was aimed at assessing the awareness and perception of maternal mortality among women in the reproductive age group at Ogunu community in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study that was carried out in Ogunu town in Delta State. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 400 women, who gave consent to be enrolled in the study. They were assisted in filling a semi-structured questionnaire containing questions on awareness and perception of maternal mortality among women in the community. Information generated was recorded on a data collection sheet designed for the study. The coded data were fed into the computer using the SPSS program to determine the mean values and frequencies. Results: A total of 400 questionnaires were distributed; of these, 349 were completely filled and returned. The mean age of the study subjects was 31.6 ± 7.7 years. Among these subjects, 54.7% were married, while 32.7%, 28.7% and 26.5% had tertiary, secondary and primary education, respectively. The study revealed that 96.3% of the subjects felt that death can occur from pregnancy-related problems, while 69.1% were aware of maternal mortality. Majority of the subjects agreed that one or more forms of delay could be responsible for their death. This study shows that a good proportion of subjects was aware of maternal mortality and also had a good perception of it. Conclusion: Efforts should be directed towards educating women about the risk of delivering in homes of traditional birth attendants, maternity homes and health centers, and the concept of early referral of women to the hospital should be reinforced. Providing information to women on prevention of maternal mortality and community participation and mobilization will help prevent maternal mortality to some extent in Nigeria.

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