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Open Access Research article

Maternal near-miss in a rural hospital in Sudan

AbdelAziem A Ali1*, Awadia Khojali1, Amira Okud1, Gamal K Adam2 and Ishag Adam3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Kassala University, Kassala, Sudan

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Gadarif University, Gadarif, Sudan

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2011, 11:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-48

Published: 29 June 2011



Investigation of maternal near-miss is a useful complement to the investigation of maternal mortality with the aim of meeting the United Nations' fifth Millennium Development Goal. The present study was conducted to investigate the frequency of near-miss events, to calculate the mortality index for each event and to compare the socio-demographic and obstetrical data (age, parity, gestational age, education and antenatal care) of the near-miss cases with maternal deaths.


Near-miss cases and events (hemorrhage, infection, hypertensive disorders, anemia and dystocia), maternal deaths and their causes were retrospectively reviewed and the mortality index for each event was calculated in Kassala Hospital, eastern Sudan over a 2-year period, from January 2008 to December 2010. Disease-specific criteria were applied for these events.


There were 9578 deliveries, 205 near-miss cases, 228 near-miss events and 40 maternal deaths. Maternal near-miss and maternal mortality ratio were 22.1/1000 live births and 432/100 000 live births, respectively. Hemorrhage accounted for the most common event (40.8%), followed by infection (21.5%), hypertensive disorders (18.0%), anemia (11.8%) and dystocia (7.9%). The mortality index were 22.2%, 10.0%, 10.0%, 8.8% and 2.4% for infection, dystocia, anemia, hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders, respectively.


There is a high frequency of maternal morbidity and mortality at the level of this facility. Therefore maternal health policy needs to be concerned not only with averting the loss of life, but also with preventing or ameliorating maternal-near miss events (hemorrhage, infections, hypertension and anemia) at all care levels including primary level.