Nigeria has the second largest burden of maternal death globally. The major causes of maternal death in Nigeria include haemorrhage, (23%), infection (17%), toxaemia/eclampsia (11%), unsafe abortion (11%), obstructed labour (11%), malaria (11%), and anaemia (11%). Most of these causes are preventable especially if women with such complications seek help early. Delay to access to obstetric care have been categorized into four and they include delay in recognizing the danger signs, delay in deciding to seek care, delay in reaching the health facility and delay in receiving care at the health facilities. Awareness of the danger signs of pregnancy is thus the first step to seeking appropriate and timely referral to emergency obstetric care and this reduces the first and second delays. Danger signs of pregnancy though not the actual obstetric complications, are symptoms that are easily recognized by the woman, her family and members of the community and include swelling of feet and hands, severe headache or fits, fever, smelly vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding before labour. Others include mal-presentation, heavy bleeding during or after labour and labour lasting more than one nightfall to one sun rise or vice versa.
Citation: Ossai EN, Uzochukwu BS (2015) Knowledge of Danger Signs of Pregnancy among Clients of Maternal Health Service in Urban and Rural Primary Health Centres of Southeast Nigeria. J Community Med Health Educ 5:337.