Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1987 Apr; 25(2): 99-106.
Viral hepatitis as a major cause of maternal mortality in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Causes of maternal mortality were investigated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from September 1981 to September 1983. Viral hepatitis ranked third among the leading causes of maternal mortality behind septic abortion and puerperal sepsis. There were 26 deaths from viral hepatitis during the 2-year study period for a hospital maternal mortality rate of 91.0 per 100,000 live births. Although 30% of women who died of all maternal causes received antenatal care in Addis Ababa, only 13% of women who died from viral hepatitis in our hospital study received antenatal care. Low socio-economic status (SES) has been shown to be associated with low antenatal care utilization and with an increased risk of protein malnutrition. Malnutrition is considered a predisposing factor for liver damage. Suggestions for reducing hepatitis transmission and maternal mortality through education, better hygiene, and improved sanitation are discussed.