Author(s): De Groof D, Harouna Y, Bossyns P
Abstract Share this page
Abstract West Africa has probably the highest levels of maternal mortality in the world. A new method has been developed by the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp (Belgium) that gives an estimate of the Uncovered Obstetrical Need. This technique tested in different Western African countries has been now evaluated also in an urban medical district in Niamey, capital of Niger, for the year 1999. The uncovered obstetrical need has been estimated at 15 major Obstetrical Interventions for this period; this means that 15 pregnant women didn't undergo a major surgical intervention necessary to save their life and that they probably died because of this non-intervention. We met quite a lot of problems with this new method: (i) the first problem is related to the difficulty to obtain correct demographic information: it is very difficult to estimate population growth in urban african areas, present population and number of attended births. (ii) The second difficulty came from sociocultural habits: primipare women in Niger go back to their family to deliver (and the place where their family lives is not necessarily the same as the place where they stay with their husband); it is quite possible that a number of primipare women needing a major surgical intervention didn't undergo this intervention because they delivered in their home village (and perhaps died there). (iii) At last, the estimation of a reference rate (calculated at 0.9\% for Niger) implies that all women needing a major obstetrical intervention in Niamey, and having a theoretical easy access to medical infrastructures (first line as second line hospitals) present themselves when having a major obstetrical problem. This is probably "wishful thinking". The interest of this new method lies in the fact that it is a cheap technique and easy to put into practice ... provided that one disposes of medical infrastructures that collect correctly all necessary medical information.
This article was published in Bull Soc Pathol Exot
and referenced in International Journal of Economics & Management Sciences