Subnational estimates of maternal mortality in Nigeria: Secondary Data Analysis of female siblings’ survivorship histories

Opeyemi O. Babajide, Joshua O. Akinyemi, Olusola Ayeni


High Maternal Mortality (MM) in Nigeria is complicated by the absence of reliable estimates at subnational levels. Obtaining accurate data at the state and geopolitical region levels is crucial for effective policy-making and targeted interventions. This study employs novel small area estimation techniques to derive plausible estimates of Maternal Mortality rates and ratios for Nigerian states and geopolitical regions. Data from 293,769 female siblings, provided by 114,154 women in the Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys of 2008, 2013, and 2018, are used. Empirical Bayesian technique and the James-Stein estimator are applied to estimate MM Rates and Ratios, respectively. Maternal Mortality Ratio is highest in rural areas, Northern Nigeria states, and regions. While the South West exhibits lower MMRatio, the Northern regions, particularly the North-East, show consistently higher ratios. Mortality trends have decreased in the North West and South East regions but increased in the South West from 2008 to 2018. Addressing these disparities is essential for achieving sustainable development goals and improving maternal health in Nigeria. (Afr J Reprod Health 2023; 27 [10]: 145-159).

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