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1.  Grand multiparity: is it still a risk in pregnancy? 
Background
The association of grand multiparity and poor pregnancy outcome has not been consistent for decades. Classifying grand multiparous women as a high-risk group without clear evidence of a consistent association with adverse outcomes can lead to socioeconomic burdens to the mother, family and health systems. We compared the maternal and perinatal complications among grand multiparous and other multiparous women in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was undertaken at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). A standard questionnaire enquired the following variables: demographic characteristics, antenatal profile and detected obstetric risk factors as well as maternal and neonatal risk factors. Predictors of adverse outcomes in relation to grand multiparous women were assessed at p = 0.05.
Results
Grand multiparas had twice the likelihood of malpresentation and a threefold higher prevalence of meconium-stained liquor and placenta previa compared with lower-parity women even when adjusted for age. Neonates delivered by grand multiparous women (12.1%) were at three-time greater risk of a low Apgar score compared with lower-parity women (5.4%) (odds ratio (OR), 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.5–5.0). Grand multiparity and low birth weight were independently associated with a low Apgar score (OR, 2.4; 95%, CI 1.4–4.2 for GM; OR, 4.2; 95% CI, 2.3–7.8) for low birth weight.
Conclusion
Grand multiparity remains a risk in pregnancy and is associated with an increased prevalence of maternal and neonatal complications (malpresentation, meconium-stained liquor, placenta previa and a low Apgar score) compared with other multiparous women who delivered at Muhimbili National Hospital.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-241
PMCID: PMC3878019  PMID: 24365087
Grand multiparity; Pregnancy outcome; Diabetes mellitus; Hypertension; Malpresentation; Abruptio placentae; Placenta previa
2.  Introduction of a qualitative perinatal audit at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
Background
Perinatal death is a devastating experience for the mother and of concern in clinical practice. Regular perinatal audit may identify suboptimal care related to perinatal deaths and thus appropriate measures for its reduction. The aim of this study was to perform a qualitative perinatal audit of intrapartum and early neonatal deaths and propose means of reducing the perinatal mortality rate (PMR).
Methods
From 1st August, 2007 to 31st December, 2007 we conducted an audit of perinatal deaths (n = 133) with birth weight 1500 g or more at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). The audit was done by three obstetricians, two external and one internal auditors. Each auditor independently evaluated the cases narratives. Suboptimal factors were identified in the antepartum, intrapartum and early neonatal period and classified into three levels of delay (community, infrastructure and health care). The contribution of each suboptimal factor to adverse perinatal outcome was identified and the case graded according to possible avoidability. Degree of agreement between auditors was assessed by the kappa coefficient.
Results
The PMR was 92 per 1000 total births. Suboptimal factors were identified in 80% of audited cases and half of suboptimal factors were found to be the likely cause of adverse perinatal outcome and were preventable. Poor foetal heart monitoring during labour was indirectly associated with over 40% of perinatal death. There was a poor to fair agreement between external and internal auditors.
Conclusion
There are significant areas of care that need improvement. Poor monitoring during labour was a major cause of avoidable perinatal mortality. This type of audit was a good starting point for quality assurance at MNH. Regular perinatal audits to identify avoidable causes of perinatal deaths with feed back to the staff may be a useful strategy to reduce perinatal mortality.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-9-45
PMCID: PMC2754979  PMID: 19765312
3.  Criteria-based audit on management of eclampsia patients at a tertiary hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
Background
Criteria-based audits have been used to improve clinical management in developed countries, but have only recently been introduced in the developing world. This study discusses the introduction of a criteria-based audit in a tertiary hospital in an African setting, assesses the quality of care among eclampsia patients and discusses possible interventions in order to improve the quality of care.
Methods
We conducted a criteria based audit of 389 eclampsia patients admitted to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Dar es Salaam Tanzania between April 14, 2006 and December 31, 2006. Cases were assessed using evidence-based criteria for appropriate care.
Results
Antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum eclampsia constituted 47%, 41% and 12% of the eclampsia cases respectively. Antepartum eclampsia was mostly (73%) preterm whereas the majority (71%) of postpartum eclampsia cases ware at term. The case fatality rate for eclampsia was 7.7%. Medical histories were incomplete, the majority (75%) of management plans were not reviewed by specialists in obstetrics, specialist doctors live far from the hospital and do not spend nights in hospital even when they are on duty, monitoring of patients on magnesium sulphate was inadequate, and important biochemical tests were not routinely done. Two thirds of the patient scheduled for caesarean section did not undergo surgery within agreed time.
Conclusion
Potential areas for further improvement in quality of emergency care for eclampsia relate to standardizing management guidelines, greater involvement of specialists in the management of eclampsia and continued medical education on current management of eclampsia for junior staff.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-9-13
PMCID: PMC2670267  PMID: 19323846
4.  Use pattern of maternal health services and determinants of skilled care during delivery in Southern Tanzania: implications for achievement of MDG-5 targets 
Background
Almost two decades since the initiation of the Safe motherhood Initiative, Maternal Mortality is still soaring high in most developing countries. In 2000 WHO estimated a life time risk of a maternal death of 1 in 16 in Sub- Saharan Africa while it was only 1 in 2800 in developed countries. This huge discrepancy in the rate of maternal deaths is due to differences in access and use of maternal health care services. It is known that having a skilled attendant at every delivery can lead to marked reductions in maternal mortality. For this reason, the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel is one of the indicators used to monitor progress towards the achievement of the MDG-5 of improving maternal health.
Methods
Cross sectional study which employed quantitative research methods.
Results
We interviewed 974 women who gave birth within one year prior to the survey. Although almost all (99.8%) attended ANC at least once during their last pregnancy, only 46.7% reported to deliver in a health facility and only 44.5% were assisted during delivery by a skilled attendant. Distance to the health facility (OR = 4.09 (2.72–6.16)), discussion with the male partner on place of delivery (OR = 2.37(1.75–3.22)), advise to deliver in a health facility during ANC (OR = 1.43 (1.25–2.63)) and knowledge of pregnancy risk factors (OR 2.95 (1.65–5.25)) showed significant association with use of skilled care at delivery even after controlling for confounding factors.
Conclusion
Use of skilled care during delivery in this district is below the target set by ICPD + of attaining 80% of deliveries attended by skilled personnel by 2005. We recommend the following in order to increase the pace towards achieving the MDG targets: to improve coverage of health facilities, raising awareness for both men and women on danger signs during pregnancy/delivery and strengthening counseling on facility delivery and individual birth preparedness.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-7-29
PMCID: PMC2222241  PMID: 18053268

Results 1-4 (4)