4 years ago

Incidence and causes of maternal near-miss in selected hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mesganaw Fantahun Afework, Alemayehu Worku Yalew, Ewnetu Firdawek Liyew, Birgitta Essén

by Ewnetu Firdawek Liyew, Alemayehu Worku Yalew, Mesganaw Fantahun Afework, Birgitta Essén


Because maternal mortality is a rare event, it is important to study maternal near-miss as a complement to evaluate and improve the quality of obstetric care. Thus, the study was conducted with the aim of assessing the incidence and causes of maternal near-miss.


A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted in five selected public hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016. All maternal near-miss cases admitted to the selected hospitals during the study period were prospectively recruited. World Health Organization criteria were used to identify maternal near-miss cases. The number of maternal near-miss cases over one year per 1000 live births occurring during the same year was calculated to determine the incidence of maternal near-miss. Underlying and contributing causes of maternal near-miss were documented from each participant’s record.


During the one-year period, there were a total of 238 maternal near-miss cases and 29,697 live births in all participating hospitals, which provides a maternal near-miss incidence ratio of 8.01 per 1000 live births. The underlying causes of the majority of maternal near-miss cases were hypertensive disorders and obstetric hemorrhage. Anemia was the major contributing cause reported for maternal near-miss. Most of the maternal near-miss cases occurred before the women’s arrival at the participating hospitals.


The study demonstrated a lower maternal near-miss incidence ratio compared to previous country-level studies. The majority of the near-miss cases occurred before the women’s arrival at the participating hospitals, which underscores the importance of improving pre-hospital barriers. Efforts made toward improvement in the management of life-threatening obstetric complications could reduce the occurrence of maternal near-miss problems that occur during hospitalization.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179013

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