Background: Postpartum maternal morbidity is becoming
a major public health concern worldwide due to impact of modern development in
feto-maternal medicine and maternal care. Major acute and
long term maternal morbidities which may occur during obstetric management
affect the life and reproductive career of women. Objective: To assess the
trends, risk factors and pattern of postpartum maternal morbidity in Ikot
Ekpene a local community in southern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was
a 4-year prospective cross sectional observational study carried out in the
maternity section of General Hospital Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
between 2008 and 2011. Parturients managed in the hospital for postpartum
morbidity were recruited for the study. Relevant information was obtained from
structured questionnaire administered to the patients and those extracted from
other medical records in the course of managing the patients. This was analysed
using the SPSS computer statistical package. Result: A total of 5760 women
delivered during the period, of which 296 (5.1%) were treated for postpartum
morbidity. Most of the patients (46.9%) were between 31 and 40 years old and
68.8% were of low educational background. Half of the deliveries with
morbidity were conducted by unskilled attendants. The most common maternal
morbidity encountered included primary postpartum haemorrhage (22.2%), genital
sepsis (16.1%), and hypertensive disorders (12.8%). Anaemia (12.8%) and
malaria (11.1%) were the commonest non obstetrics causes of morbidity. It was
relatively more common with delivery attended by untrained personnel. There
was significant reduction in morbidity in the last 2 years of this study. Conclusion:
The incidence of postpartum morbidity in the Ikot Ekpene is still high with a
downward trend over the years. Obstetric haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders,
anaemia and genital tract sepsis were the common causes and were commoner with
delivery attended by unskilled personnel. It is hoped that supervision of
deliveries by skilled medical attendants, improvement in general health and
educational level will reduce postpartum morbidity in this rural community.
Cite this paper
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