Conference abstract

Desk review of maternal death in Liberia, epidemiological week 1-52, 2016

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(31).17 Oct 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.31.158
Archived on: 17 Oct 2017
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Maternal death, maternal surveillance system, Liberia
Oral presentation

Desk review of maternal death in Liberia, epidemiological week 1-52, 2016

Alberta Corvah1, Maame Amo-Addae1, Lily Sanvee Blebo1, Joseph Asamoah Frimpong1,&, Faith Kamara1

1Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program, Monrovia, Liberia

&Corresponding author
Joseph Asamoah Frimpong, Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program, Monrovia, Liberia


Introduction: maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days after delivery or termination of pregnancy, irrespective of site and duration of pregnancy and not from incidental causes. Globally, about 830 women die daily from pregnancy-related complications with postpartum hemorrhage being the leading cause. Liberia maternal mortality is one of the highest in the world with 1072 per 100,000 live births. A descriptive analysis of maternal death data was conducted to inform interventions.

Methods: Liberia is located in West-Africa with an estimated population of 4.1 million. It has 15 counties with 745 health facilities. A significant proportion of its communities are hard to reach. The Ebola outbreak in 2014 almost led to the collapse of the health system. We reviewed all maternal surveillance data and maternal deaths audit forms submitted to Ministry of Health from the Counties for Epidemiological week 1-52, 2016. Descriptive analyses were done using excel spread sheet.

Results: a total of 302 maternal deaths were recorded in 2016. Age 16 -19 years accounted for the highest number of maternal deaths with 64 (21%). Montserrado County had the highest number of maternal deaths with 73 (24%). Most maternal deaths occurred at the health facility, 204 (81%) with postpartum hemorrhage, 93 (31%) being the leading cause followed by postpartum sepsis, 53 (18%). Highest number 34 (12%) of maternal deaths was recorded in April and June.

Conclusion: teenagers are at high risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications. Postpartum hemorrhage being the leading cause of deaths was probably due to lack of access to high quality care and specialized emergency services (Surgery, Blood Transfusion etc.). Maternal deaths in health facilities are probably due to the poor healthcare and late referral. Analytic studies need to be conducted to access the actual risk factors for maternal deaths in Liberia.