Journal of Women's Health Care

Journal of Women's Health Care
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0420


Expenditure on Emergency Obstetric Care in a Federal Tertiary Institution in Nigeria

Adamu Aisha N, Adamu H, Isa AY and Zubairu S

Background: Emergency obstetric care services form an integral part of the strategies for the prevention of maternal morbidity and mortality. Access is sometimes hindered by cost. This study was designed to investigate expenditure on inpatient care for obstetric emergencies.

Materials: A total of 138 postpartum women attended to over a 3-month period were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. SPSS 16.0 computer package was used to analyse the data.

Method: It was a cross-sectional study conducted at Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi, Nigeria. Data on sociodemographic characteristics and expenditure on various aspects of care for the obstetric emergency was obtained from respondents and their husbands.

Results: Mean age of respondents was 25.6yrs (range 14-45 yrs). Most were multiparous (65.9%, N=92) and had received no antenatal care (89.9%, N=124). Majority of them were not engaged in any income generating activity (52.9%, N=73). Average monthly family income was about N13’000 (USD 81.3). Major complications managed were prolonged/obstructed labour (31.2%, N=43), obstetric haemorrhages (26%, N=36), and eclampsia (21.7%, N=30). Average length of hospital stay was about nine days. A total of 70 women (50.7%) had an operative delivery. Mean total expenditure on care was about N39’000 (243.8 USD) (maximum N 98’000, 616.4 USD); many of the patients (46.7% N=67) had spent more than this average on care, and it was more than the monthly income of 94.4% (N=131) of families studied. Only 32.8% of the respondents could comfortably afford any expenditure that was greater than N20’000 (123.5 USD).

Conclusion: Expenditure on maternity care in this study was high, and it was more than the average monthly income for most families studied. ‘Free maternity care’ programmes should be guided by available data on expenditure on care in order to make appropriate budgetary provisions if a reduction in maternal mortality is to be achieved.