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Lack of reliable and timely population-based data is one of the major constraints
in the planning, management and evaluation of programmes aimed at reducing the levels
of maternal mortality. The study area, Fika Local Government Area, is a rural L.G.A.
with hilly and rocky terrain and poor road network. In addition to a small number of
private chemists, government health facilities for the L.G.A. include one general hospital
and a number of Primary Health Care Facilities, dispensaries and health posts. Most
people are subsistence farmers. Houses mainly have thatched roofs and mud walls and
often have inadequate water supply and poorwaste disposal.
The aims and objective of the study wass to ascertain the level of maternal
mortality, the lifetime risk of dying from maternal causes and the proportional maternal
mortality rate among women of childbearing age group in Fika L.G.A. and, in light of the
study, make recommendations on strategies for the prevention of maternal mortality.
In this study the indirect sisterhood method which is comparatively easy, reliable
and cost effective community based cross sectional descriptive study was used to
estimate the maternal mortality ratio in Fika L.G.A., a rural L.G.A. in Yobe state using a
sample of 4,093 male and female respondents aged 15-49 years selected from 4 villages
by three staged cluster sampling. The mean age of the respondents was 33.5 ± 9.8 years,
31.6 ± 9.5 years for the female respondents and 35.8 ± 9.7 for the male respondents.
The study collected data by means of four questions about the death of adult
sisters based on the assumption that among siblings that survive to adulthood at least one
becomes a principal source of information on all his or her sisters who have reached
The study showed that the maternal mortality ratio among the study population
was 3,200/100,000 Live births, the proportional maternal death to the total deaths from
all causes for women of reproductive age is 46.5% and the overall lifetime risk of dying a
maternal death by the end of reproductive period is 0.181 or 1 in every 6 women.
In conclusion, the level of maternal mortality ratio and estimated lifetime risk of
dying a maternal death were found to be very high in Fika L.G.A. It is therefore
recommended that community involvement in the planning, implementation and
supervision of reproductive health services and the integration of reproductive health
services into existing health programmes especially at the primary health care level as
well as provision of good communication systems, emergency transportation and women
empowerment educationally, economically, socially, and politically will increase access
to family planning information and services, skilled attendance at delivery, emergency
obstetric care, prevention and management of abortion complications, better reproductive
health care for adolescents and the prevention and early management of sexually
transmitted infections including HIV/AIDs, which will greatly reduce and maternal
mortality and morbidity. Reducing maternal mortality will also require the protection and
promotion of a range of women’s rights over a long period of time.
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