Maternal outcome in eclampsia at Harare Maternity Hospital.
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Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios, estimated at 870/100 000 live births.1 Maternal mortality for the Greater Harare Maternity Unit (GHMU) was 370/100 000 live births in 1997 and eclampsia was responsible for 24.2% of maternal deaths.2 In the Greater Harare Maternity Unit (GHMU) the proportion of maternal deaths due to eclampsia has ranged between eight and 24% (Figure I). The proportion of maternal deaths due to eclampsia in similar settings ranges between 14 and 39%.3,4 Case fatality for eclampsia varies widely.3:5'9 There is need to reduce maternal mortality and interventions to achieve this reduction need to identify preventable causes of maternal death. Eclampsia is one such cause where case fatality can be reduced. We conducted a contemporaneous review of all clinical notes of women with a diagnosis of eclampsia managed in HMH from January 1997 to June 1998 with the purpose of identifying factors which adversely affected maternal outcome. Identification of risk factors for maternal death in eclamptic women was an essential step in the process of designing intervention strategies for reduction of maternal deaths from this preventable cause.