New Paradigm, Old Thinking: The Case for Emergency Obstetric Care in the Prevention of Maternal Mortality

Kayode T. Ijadunola, Obafemi Awolowo University
Yinyinade Ijadunola, Obafemi Awolowo University
Titilayo Abiona, Obafemi Awolowo University

This study assessed maternity unit operatives’ knowledge of the concept of emergency obstetric care and examined their preferred strategies for averting maternal mortality among obstetric clients in South-west Nigeria. The study involved all the 152 health workers (doctors, midwives, nurses and community health extension workers) employed in the maternity units of the 22 public health facilities offering maternity care in five cities of two states. Results were presented using descriptive statistics. Ninety-one percent of the maternity unit staff had poor knowledge of the concept of Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC). Moreover, only about 41% routinely used the partograph in monitoring the progress of labour. Concerning strategies for averting maternal deaths, 70% of respondents still preferred the strengthening of routine ante-natal care services in the health facilities to the provision of access to EmOC services for all pregnant women who need it. These findings have implications for the country’s unacceptably high maternal mortality statistics.

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Presented in Session 184: Reducing Maternal Mortality in Africa and Latin America