Open Access Study protocol

National data system on near miss and maternal death: shifting from maternal risk to public health impact in Nigeria

Olufemi T Oladapo12*, Olalekan O Adetoro12, Oluwarotimi Fakeye3, Bissallah A Ekele4, Adeniran O Fawole5, Aniekan Abasiattai6, Oluwafemi Kuti7, Jamilu Tukur8, Adedapo BA Ande9, Olukayode A Dada2 and the Nigerian Network for Reproductive Health Research and Training (NNRHRT)

Author Affiliations

1 Maternal and Fetal Health Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria

2 Centre for Research in Reproductive Health, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria

3 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

4 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Usman Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria

5 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

6 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria

7 Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Perinatology, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

8 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria

9 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria

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Reproductive Health 2009, 6:8  doi:10.1186/1742-4755-6-8

Published: 9 June 2009

Abstract

Background

The lack of reliable and up-to-date statistics on maternal deaths and disabilities remains a major challenge to the implementation of Nigeria's Road Map to Accelerate the Millennium Development Goal related to Maternal Health (MDG-5). There are currently no functioning national data sources on maternal deaths and disabilities that could serve as reference points for programme managers, health advocates and policy makers. While awaiting the success of efforts targeted at overcoming the barriers facing establishment of population-based data systems, referral institutions in Nigeria can contribute their quota in the quest towards MDG-5 by providing good quality and reliable information on maternal deaths and disabilities on a continuous basis. This project represents the first opportunity to initiate a scientifically sound and reliable quantitative system of data gathering on maternal health profile in Nigeria.

Objective

The primary objective is to create a national data system on maternal near miss (MNM) and maternal mortality in Nigerian public tertiary institutions. This system will conduct periodically, both regionally and at country level, a review of the magnitude of MNM and maternal deaths, nature of events responsible for MNM and maternal deaths, indices for the quality of care for direct obstetric complications and the health service events surrounding these complications, in an attempt to collectively define and monitor the standard of comprehensive emergency obstetric care in the country.

Methods

This will be a nationwide cohort study of all women who experience MNM and those who die from pregnancy, childbirth and puerperal complications using uniform criteria among women admitted in tertiary healthcare facilities in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. This will be accomplished by establishing a network of all public tertiary obstetric referral institutions that will prospectively collect specific information on potentially fatal maternal complications. For every woman enrolled, the health service events (care pathways) within the facility will be evaluated to identify areas of substandard care/avoidable factors through clinical audit by the local research team. A summary estimate of the frequencies of MNM and maternal deaths will be determined at intervals and indicators of quality of care (case fatality rate, both total and cause-specific and mortality index) will be evaluated at facility, regional and country levels.

Management

Overall project management will be from the Centre for Research in Reproductive Health (CRRH), Sagamu, Nigeria. There will be at least two meetings and site visits for efficient coordination of the project by regional coordinators and central coordinating staff. Data will be transferred electronically by hospital and regional coordinators and managed at the Data Management Unit of CRRH, Sagamu, Nigeria.

Expected outcomes

The outcome of the study would provide useful information to the health practitioners, policy-makers and international partners on the strengths and weaknesses of the infrastructures provided for comprehensive emergency obstetric care in Nigeria. The successful implementation of this project will pave way for the long-awaited Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths that would guide the formulation and or revision of obstetric policies and practices in Nigeria. Lessons learnt from the establishment of this data system can also be used to set up similar structures at lower levels of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.