The spatial patterns of maternal mortality in the core Niger Delta region of Nigeria
Keywords:Core Niger delta, Live birth, Maternal mortality, Mortality ratio, Spatial variation, Sustainable development goal.
Maternal mortality still constitutes serious challenge in many developing countries, especially Nigeria. Hence, this study analyzed the spatial patterns of maternal mortality in the core Niger Delta of Nigeria. Retrospective data were sourced from a government hospital in the respective states and from other secondary sources for an 8-year period (2010-2017). The findings revealed that the ratio of maternal mortality for Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States were 651.16 per 100,000 live birth, 380.80 per 100,000 live birth and 709.16 per 100,000 live birth, respectively. Based on the result of the Krustal Wallis statistics, of 24.472 and a p-value of 0.000, (i.e. p<0.05), the null hypothesis, which states, “there is no significant variation in maternal mortality ratio in the study area” was rejected and the alternative hypothesis was therefore retained. This implies a significant variation in the maternal mortality ratio across the three states. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 625.9 per 100,000 live births for the core Niger Delta region is very high, The implication of this finding is that if the high maternal mortality rate is unchecked, it will act as a push factor of migration of women from the core Niger Delta region, This will invariably lead to a drop in the revenue of the government. The researchers recommend that government, health centres, women organizations, religious groups, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and other stakeholders should organize programmes aimed at creating public awareness on maternal health, Unqualified/unskilled health personnel should be trained and Government’s support intensified in the region.