oa Central African Journal of Medicine - A retrospective study of maternal deaths in the Zimbabwean black

Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Maternal deaths at Harare Hospital, Salisbury, Zimbabwe, were reviewed retrospectively over a two year period from 1st January, 1972 to 31st December, 1973. Seventy-three deaths were found, 53 (72,6%) obstetric and 20 (27,4%) associated with nontherapeutic abortions. Deaths due to choriocarcinoma were not included. Pregnancy was a contributory factor in 56 (76.7%) deaths. The maternal mortality rate was 1,70 per 1000 total births. Sepsis was a common cause of death. Pulmonary embolism was not present in any patient. In 49 (87,5%) deaths an avoidable factor was present. Many maternal deaths were not recorded because they had not been coded as such. Peripheral municipal clinics were not directly responsible for any maternal death.

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