Maternal mortality statistics and risk factors at a tertiary hospital in Makurdi, Nigeria

Samuel K. Hemabh-Hilekaan, Eka P. O., Maanongun M. T., Unazi U. E.


Background: To determine the magnitude of maternal mortality and its major causes including the trend and social demographic factors associated with the problem in our environment.

Methods: A retrospective institutional review of all the case notes of maternal mortality at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi over a six-year study period, from July, 2012 to June, 2018 were computed and analyzed.

Results: A total of 2,442 deliveries took place within the period under review, out of which 2,325 were live births. Total maternal deaths were 26, giving a total maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 1,118 deaths per 100, 000. The major causes of maternal mortality during this period were unsafe abortion and its complications, hypertensive diseases in pregnancy, puerperal sepsis and obstetric hemorrhage.

Conclusions: Maternal mortality remains very high at our facility          y, although with a declining trend. This may be a reflection of the situation in the general population. Increased coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme, blood availability and utilization of antenatal services will further reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria.


Makurdi, Maternal mortality statistics, Nigeria, Trends, Risk factors, Tertiary hospital

Full Text:



USAID. Global Health. Available at:

Mojekwu JN, Ibekwe U. Maternal mortality in Nigeria: Examination of intervention methods. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 2012;2(20):135-49.

United Nations. United Nations millennium declaration resolution adapted by The General Assembly, 55th session of the United Nations general Assembly. New York; 2000: 18.

Antor ON. Informed community participation is essential to reducing maternal mortality in Nigeria. Inter J Health Psychol Res. 2014; 2(1): 26-33.

The World Health Report: make every mother and child count. 2005.

Izugbara CO, Wekesa FM, Adedini SA. Maternal Health in Nigeria: A Situation Update. African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Nairobi, Kenya. 2016.

Alobo GI, Ochejele S, Ngwan SD. A review of underlying causes of maternal deaths in Benue North Central Nigeria. J Inf Repro Biol. 2013;1(3):42-7.

United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. 2015.

Maternal mortality in 2005. Estimates developed by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the World Bank. 2005.

Yar’zever SI. Temporary analysis of maternal mortality in Kano State, Northern Nigeria: A six- year review. Am J Public Health Res. 2014;2(2):62-7.

Adamu YM, Salihu HM, Sathiakumar N, Alexander GR. Maternal mortality in Northern Nigeria: a population-based study. Eu J Obst Gynecol Repro Biol. 2013;109:153-9.

Samia K, Project manager, global safe motherhood projects, international federation of gynecology and obstetrics (FIGO). New FIGO guidelines for misoprostol use. Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF), At the Harvard Chan School, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. 2017. Available at:

World Health Organization (WHO). International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), tenth revision, Geneva. 1992;123-128.

Ochejele S, Engela SJ, Heywood A. assessment of quality of emergency obstetrics care at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria. TJOG. 2004;21:160-3.

Ujah IAO, Asien OA, Mutihir JT, Vanderjagt DJ, Glew RH, Uguru VE. Factors contributing to maternal mortality in North-Central Nigeria: A seventeen-year review. Afr J Reprod Health. 2005;9(3):27-40.

Onakewhor JU, Gharoro EP. Changing trends in maternal mortality in a developing country. Niger J Clin Pract. 2008;11(2):111-20.

Salami KK, Dumbili E, Ezeah P. determinants of maternal and child healthcare service utilization among recently pregnant mothers in Ubulu-Okiti, Delta State Nigeria. Int J Soc Family. 2013;39(1-2):115-28.

Yar’zever SI. Temporary analysis of maternal mortality in Kano State, Northern Nigeria: A six-year review. Am J Pub Heal Res. 2014;2(2):62-7.

Kullima AA, Kawuwa MB, Audu BM, Geidam AD, Mairiga AG. Trends in maternal mortality in a tertiary institution in Northern Nigeria. Ann African Med. 2009;8(4):221-4.

Mairiga AG, Saleh W. maternal mortality at the State Specialist Hospital Bauchi, northern Nigeria. East Afr Med J. 2009;86(1):25-30.

Lale S, Mie I, Samuel M, Emi S. Mortality in 2005: estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank. Geneva: WHO; 2007: 15-17.

Mairiga AM, Kawuwa MB, Kulima A. community perception of maternal mortality in Northeastern Nigeria. Afr J Reprod Heal. 2008;12(3):27-34.

Uja AU, Uguru VE, Asien AO, Sagay AS, Otubu JA. How safe is motherhood in Nigeria? The trends of maternal mortality in tertiary health institutions. East Afr Med J. 1999;76:436-9.

Audu BM, Takai UI, Bukar M. trends in maternal mortality at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Nigeria - a five year review. Niger Med J. 2010;51:147-51.

Olatunji AO, Sule-Odu AO. Maternal mortality at Shaagamu, Nigeria- a 10-year review (1988-1997). Niger Postgrad Med J. 2001;8:12-5.

Yusuf MA, Hamisu MS, Nalini SK, Grg RA. Maternal mortality in Northern Nigeria: A population-based study. Eur J Obstet Gynaecol Reprod Biol. 2003;21:160-3.

Chama CM, Audu BM, Mairiga AG. The status of reproductive health facilities in Borno State. Borno Med J. 2006;3(1):12-6.

Okoro JM, Umezulike AC, Onah HC, Chukwuali LI, Ezugwu OF, Nweke PC. Maternal mortality at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, before and after Kenya. Afr J Reprod Health. 2001;5:90-7.