Causes of maternal deaths in a tertiary hospital in Limpopo Province, South Africa : Healthcare professionals’ perspective

21 Aug 2015

Some women die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications which occur during pregnancy, childbirth or within two months after the birth or termination of a pregnancy. The general health status of pregnant women depends largely on the available quality ante-natal care services. The aim of the study was to determine the perceptions of healthcare professionals regarding the causes of maternal deaths in tertiary hospital in Limpopo province. A qualitative, descriptive and exploratory design was used. The population included all obstetricians and midwives working at the tertiary hospital in Limpopo province. A non-probability, purposive and convenient sampling method was used to select participants. Twelve participants who had three and more years experience in the obstetrical unit were included in the study. Data were collected through individual in-depth, unstructured interviews. Data were analysed qualitatively by means of the open-coding method. Findings revealed three themes with sub-themes, namely; HIV and AIDS associated with maternal death, risky diagnosis contributing to maternal death and pregnancy versus post-delivery complications. There is need to strengthen advocacy campaigns on the importance of early booking and regular antenatal care attendance, and strengthen integration of HIV and AIDS into the antenatal care services.