Factors influencing maternal mortality among rural communities in southwestern Nigeria

Dominic Ezinwa Azuh*, Akunna Ebere Azuh, Emeka Joshua Iweala, Davies Adeloye, Moses Akanbi, Raphael C. Mordi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Maternal mortality and morbidity reflect the status of population health and quality of life across nations. Poor understanding of the interplay of many antecedent factors, including sociocultural, economic and logistic factors, combined with an overwhelming poor health services delivery, is a basic challenge in several countries, particularly in rural settings where functional health care services are relatively scarce. There are still uncertainties as to the extent of this burden, owing to current challenges with information and data collation. This study aimed at identifying nonmedical factors associated with maternal mortality in rural and semiurban communities of southwestern Nigeria. Methodology: The study was carried out in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State. A multistage sampling technique and an informant survey approach were used in the study. A total sample of 360 eligible respondents were selected randomly from 11 out of 16 political wards in the study area and interviewed through the administration of questionnaires. The data were processed using descriptive statistics and regression analyses. Results: Place of consultation (P=0.000), who pays the treatment costs (P=0.000), awareness of pregnancy complications (P=0.002) and knowledge of the place of antenatal care treatment (P=0.000) significantly influenced maternal mortality (proxy by place of delivery of last birth). The F-statistic (15.100) confirmed the hypothesis that nonmedical factors influence maternal mortality. The correlation of predictor variables was significant at both the 0.01 level and the 0.05 level (2-tailed). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that in a rural community setting with a depleted health care system, health education tailored toward community culture, subsidized maternal health care services by the government and operators of private clinics, as well as empowering and improving the status of women may reduce maternal mortality and prompt better utilization and survival chances of women in the study area as well as in all of Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017


  • Community
  • Health care
  • Informant approach
  • Maternal mortality
  • Nonmedical factors

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