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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-99

Causes of death of women in the reproductive age group

1 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bella University leaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bella University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A Mustapha
c/o Dr. M Ahmed, Dept of Surgery, ABUTH, Shika, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Maternal mortality is a major cause of death of women in the reproductive age group and its reduction is the focus of Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5). The objective of the study was to determine the causes of death of women in the reproductive age group with emphasis on maternal deaths. Method: Two hundred and forty one cases of death of women in the reproductive age group from 1st December, 2005 to 30th November, 2007 were reviewed for age, tribe, occupation, religion, cause of death, duration of hospital stay and risk factors associated, using the death registers and case files. Result: Of the 241 cases of death recorded within the two year review period among women of the reproductive age group, a total of 234 had their causes of death specified and of these; infectious and parasitic diseases including HIV/AIDS were the commonest cause of death accounting for 32% (75) of deaths, while maternal deaths contributed 19.8%. Other common causes of death were neoplasms (22.3%), diseases of the circulatory system (10.7%). The overall maternal modality ratio was 2,598/100,000 live bidhs with wide variation between the two years studied. The direct causes of maternal modality accounted for 52.4% of cases while the indirect causes accounted for 47.6%. Direct causes of maternal mortality were hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (18.2%), haemorrhage (11.4%), puerperal sepsis including septic abortion (11.4%), and obstructed labour with or without ruptured uterus (11.4%). Conclusion: Infectious and parasitic diseases especially HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis were the leading causes of death of women in the reproductive age group contributing significantly to maternal mortality, which exerts a heavy toll on survival of women in this age group. Strategies to comprehensively address the reproductive health problems of women should be instituted.

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