Adolescent Maternal Mortality in North-west Nigeria.

West African journal of medicine

PubMedID: 23468022

Nwobodo EI, Panti A. Adolescent Maternal Mortality in North-west Nigeria. West Afr J Med. 2013;31(4):224-6.
Compared to women in their twenties, adolescents are more likely to die during childbirth. Moreover, more than half of women in sub-Sahara Africa deliver their first child before the age of 20 years.

To determine the institutional maternal mortality ratio among adolescents, its risk factors/causes and suggest ways of preventing or reducing the deaths.

A descriptive study based on hospital case records of all adolescent maternal deaths at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto between January 2000 and December 2009.

There were 165 maternal deaths and 3,047 live births among the adolescent mothers within the period giving an adolescent maternal mortality ratio of 5415/100,000 live births. The main causes of death were eclampsia (53.9%), prolonged obstructed labour (15.3%), anaemia (14.5%) and haemorrhage (9.1%). Interestingly, abortion (2.4%) was an uncommon cause of adolescent maternal mortality in this study. Identified risk factors included lack of prenatal care/labour supervision and illiteracy.

The adolescent maternal mortality ratio in the institution is remarkably high and is tragically due to preventable causes in most cases. The role of promotion of female education and utilization of family planning,prenatal and intrapartum services in reducing adolescent maternal death cannot be overemphasized.