Maternal Mortality and status of health services in Kafue District
Chirwa, Banda Pamela
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This study was carried out to investigate the determinants and levels of Maternal Mortality and Status of Health Services in Kafue District. A scientific approach through exploratory study was employed to randomly select sample of 150 women from the four health centers in Kafue District. Data in form of tables, percentages, frequencies and graphs during data analysis were used to assess the determinants and levels of maternal mortality in Kafue District. Respondents’ demographic record including age, education, social economic status, distance from hospital and cultural values were examined. Factors leading to maternal death and contributing factors were discussed through Focus Group and interviews with relatives of the deceased. The study revealed that the levels of maternal mortality in Kafue ranged from 2 in 2005 to 6 and 5 in 2007 and 2009 respectively, a total of 21 maternal deaths in the past five years, with two of these deaths being recorded at Mwembeshi and Chanyanya respectively. A total of 19289 Institutional deliveries took place during the study period with Maternal Mortality Ratio of 108.8/100 000 live births. This implies that maternal death has reduced to one per thousand births in Kafue District which is much lower than the national maternal ratio of 5.9/1000 births (CSO, 2007:120). The major causative factors in Kafue District were haemorrhage (68 %) followed by anaemia 18 %, abortion 9 % and HIV- related complications 6 %. The study discovered that the referral system was not being effectively coordinated between health centres and the hospital in terms of referral movements. In an effort to completely eradicate maternal deaths in Kafue district, a two way referral system from the community to the health facility and vice versa should be intensified and timely follow ups made. More vehicles/mobile clinics should be purchased for use at health centres to assist in transporting pregnant women who live very far from the clinic/hospital.