PloS one 2017 09 0812(9) e0183886 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0183886
In Ethiopia, 20,000 women die each year from complications related to pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum. For every woman that dies, 20 more experience injury, infection, disease, or disability. "Maternal near miss" (MNM), defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a woman who nearly dies, but survives a complication during pregnancy, childbirth or within 42 days of a termination, is a proxy indicator of maternal mortality and quality of obstetric care. In Ethiopia, few studies have examined MNM. This study aims to identify determinants of MNM among a small population of women in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Unmatched case-control study was conducted in hospitals in Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia, from January 30-March 30, 2016. The sample included 103 cases and 205 controls recruited from among women seeking obstetric care at six (6) public hospitals. Clients with life-threatening obstetric complications, including hemorrhage, hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, dystocia, infection, and anemia or clinical signs of severe anemia (in women without hemorrhage) were taken as cases and those with normal obstetric outcomes were controls. Cases were selected based on proportion to size allocation while systematic sampling was employed for controls. Binary and multiple variable logistic regression ("odds ratio") analyses were calculated at 95% CI.
Roughly 90% of cases and controls were married and 25% experienced their first pregnancy before the age of 16 years. About two-thirds of controls and 45.6% of cases had gestational ages between 37-41 weeks. Among cases, severe obstetric hemorrhage (44.7%), hypertensive disorders (38.8%), dystocia (17.5%), sepsis (9.7%) and severe anemia (2.9%) were leading causes of MNM. Histories of chronic maternal medical problems like hypertension, diabetes were reported in 55.3% of cases and 33.2% of controls. Women with no formal education [AOR = 3.2;95%CI:1.24, 8.12], being less than 16 years of age at first pregnancy [AOR = 2.5;95%CI:1.12,5.63], induced labor[AOR = 3.0; 95%CI:1.44, 6.17], history of cesarean section[AOR = 4.6; 95% CI: 1.98, 7.61] or chronic medical disorder[AOR = 3.5;95%CI:1.78, 6.93], and women who traveled more than 60 minutes before reaching their final place of care[AOR = 2.8;95% CI: 1.19,6.35] had higher odds of experiencing MNM.
Macro-developments like increasing road and health facility access as well as expanding education will all help reduce MNM. Work should be continued to educate women and providers about common predictors of MNM like history of C-section and chronic illness as well as teenage pregnancy. These efforts should be carried out at the facility, community, and individual levels. Targeted follow-up with women with history of chronic disease and C-section could also help reduce MNM.