Stillbirth Rate in a Teaching Hospital in South???Eastern Nigeria: A Silent Tragedy

Author(s): Okeudo C, Ezem BU, Ojiyi EE

Background: Stillbirths often are not seen as a major public health problem, for despite increasing attention and investment on maternal, neonatal, and child health, stillbirths remain invisible. Aim: The objective of this study was to determine the stillbirth rate at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu. Subjects and Methods: Analysis of the case records of stillbirths that occurred in the institution over a 5‑year period from 1st July 2005 to 30th June 2010 was made. Data retrieved was analyzed for age of the women, parity, presumptive risk factor for the stillbirth, and booking status of the women. Also, the total births during the period of study were obtained. A P‑value of <0.05 is said to be significant at confidence level of 95% (95/100). Results: There were a total of 1,142 deliveries within the study period, out of which 206 resulted in stillbirths. This gave an institutional stillbirth rate of 18% (180/1000 deliveries). One‑hundred and fifty‑five 75.2% (155/206) of the stillbirths were macerated stillbirth. The age range of the women was 15-44 years. The modal age was 31 years. The age group of 26- 30 years had the highest prevalence rate of stillbirths of 79 (38.3%, 79/206), while age group of more than 40 years contributed the least with four stillbirths 4 (1.9%, 4/206). Conclusion: The stillbirth rate at the institution is too high and efforts must be made to reduce it.


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