Socio-demographic characteristics of maternal deaths in Basrah or the period (2013-2017)


Introduction and Background: In Iraq, and due to the decades of wars and sunctions that affected people’s accessibility to the health care services, maternal death was among the main health problems over the years. Thus, studying the factors influencing this important problem is a mandatory step for a better evidence based intervention in controlling the problem. Objective: To analyze the socio-demographic factors that influence maternal deaths in Basrah during the period 2013-2017.Methodology design: The study is an observational retrospective one included information collected from the medical records, death certificate and forensic medicine reports in addition to interviewing the family as needed. A total of 201 deaths were included in the study. Results: The study shows that maternal death rate in Basrah increased sharply during 2016 compared to that of 2013 with a highest rate in Shat Al-Arab and Al-Mudiana districts. Then, a sharp decrease was noticed in 2017 compared to 2016. Maternal mortality rates were found to be increasing with increasing women’s age with the highest rate among women above 40 years old. But no big difference between maternal death rates in urban and rural areas. (88.1%) of the study women died in hospital while 11.9% of them died outside the hospital Conclusions and recommendations: Maternal death is still a problem in Basrah in spite of the decline that occurred between (2016-2017) compared to the rates in 2013. Strengthening of maternal mortality monitoring system across all districts of Basrah governorate in addition to improving the quality of registering all pregnancy related information are the main recommendations of the study.