Causes and risk factors of infant and maternal mortality: The cause of maternal mortality is an outcome of nexus interaction of a variety of factors namely-the distant factors (socio-economic, cultural) which act through the proximate or intermediate factors (health and reproductive behavior, access to health services) and in turn influence outcome (pregnancy complication mortality). Campbell and Graham (1990). This follows other models which have their basis on the premise that social and economic determinants of infant and maternal mortality operate through a common set of biological mechanism and proximate, determinants to exert an impact on mortality (Campbell and Graham, 1991).
The health behavior are action that people do or do not take for their health, e.g attending antenatal care or seeking help when complications arise which may lead infant and maternal mortality.
Reproductive behavior includes issues like age, birth spacing, wontedness of pregnancy e.t.c. access to health services is a concept raging from whether adequate facilities exits (adequate supplies, personnel, good quality of care) and if people can reach the service provided (cost, distance information.)
More Study on infant and maternal mortality
Some of the direct, medical causes of infant and maternal mortality include-hemorrhage or bleeding, (23%) sepsi (17%) unsafe abortion (11%) hypertensive disorder, and obstructed labour (11%) other causes include ectopic pregnancy, embolism and anesthesia related risks (WHO, 2001, Ogunkelu B. 2002).
Condition such as anemia (11%), diabetes, malaria (11%), sexually transmitted infections (STTS) including HIV/AIDS and others can also increase a woman risk for complication during pregnancy and childbirth, and thus, are indirect causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.
Lack of access to essential obstetric care, lack of access to family planning (FP) counseling and service, lack of drugs, equipment, essential materials, instruments, consumables e.c.t in hospital, non-availability of health workers on essential duties, deficient transportation, communication and utility (power, water etc) facilities all contribute to infant and maternal mortality. Most maternal deaths occurs during delivery and during the postpartum period.
Reproductive health causes, a number of studies have shown that certain groups of women are at increased risk of infant and maternal mortality. They include, too young (<18years), 7oo old (>35years), Too many (having 5 or more delivery) Too frequent (having spacing of their deliveries less than 2 years apart) and Too sick (pregnancies contraindicated or at very high risk of life). Other contributory factors include; unsafe abortion-610,000 per year High prevalence of malaria, high rate of malnutrition 16%, HIV/AIDS pandemic 5.4%-90%.
Social-cultural factors that relate to low status of women (gender disparity in education, access to productive resources e.t.c) poverty harmful traditional practices other factors that act as barrier to utilization of available health service have influence the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.
Maternal death without doubts is associated with considerable grief and depression not infant and maternal mortality. It also directly affects child survival as it increases the chances of newborn death by 2-4 times. The loss of woman in the prime and productive part of her life also adversely affect family income and increase the social economic burden on the man and children.
Indeed, women’s economic contribution is essential to reducing poverty in Nigeria, and projected losses from maternal mortality death on the national economy over a 10 year period (2001-2010) are estimated at about 38 billion naira (Reduce, 2003)