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Background to the Study
 Maternal mortality has been and still continues to be a public health problem particularly in developing countries. It is made more tragic because women die in the process of performing the essential physiologic function of childbearing and in efforts to fulfill their natural role of perpetuating the human race. According to WHO (2005), maternal mortality is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of a pregnancy irrespective of the duration or site of the pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental causes. Globally, an estimated 287 000 maternal deaths occurred in 2010, Sub-Saharan Africa (56%) and Southern Asia (29%) accounted for 85% of the global burden (245 000 maternal deaths) in 2010. At the country level, two countries account for a third of global maternal deaths: India at 19% (56 000) and Nigeria at 14% (40,000) (WHO,UNFPA, UNICEF & World Bank, 2012). In Nigeria, the maternal mortality is estimated to be 545/100,000 live births (National Demography & Health Survey 2008). Indeed, the country has been ranked as the number two country (after India) with the highest absolute number of maternal death in the world. The causes of maternal mortality were reported in percentages as post partum haemorrhage (23%), infections (13%), unsafe abortion (13%), eclampsia (12%),obstructed labour (8%), other direct causes (8%) and indirect causes 20% (FMOH, 2007). Indirect causes such as malaria, anaemia, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular disease complicate pregnancy or are aggravated by it (WHO, 2005). Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the common cause of obstetric haemorrhage and the leading cause of maternal death in Nigeria, as one in four maternal deaths is due to it (FMOH, 2007).According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2000), PPH is defined as bleeding from the genital tract of 500 ml or more within the first 24 hours of delivery of the baby. Bleeding after delivery is normal; however excessive bleeding is often fatal. Uterine atony, which is the failure of the uterus to properly contract after delivery, is the commonest cause, accounting for about 90% cases of PPH (Chelmow, 2008). Other causes of PPH include tear in the cervix or vaginal tissue, uterine rupture, retained placenta or membrane, blood clotting disorders such as disseminated intravascular coagulation accounting for 10% of cases (FMOH, 2007). The International Federation of Obstestrics and Gynaecology/International Council of Midwives (FIGO/ICM, 2006) recommended the use of active management of the third stage of labour (AMTSL) to prevent post partum haemorrhage. It involves the administration of a drug that causes the uterus to contract known as uterotonics, controlled cord traction only when a skilled attendant is present at birth and uterine massage after delivery of the placenta. Injectable uterotonics, which include ergometrine, oxytocin and syntometrine are the conventional drugs used and also remain the first line drug for prevention and treatment of PPH. However, these drugs are heat-sensitive when exposed to hot climates over long period of time which means they need to be refrigerated in order to maintain their potency. This may be difficult in low-resource settings or rural areas where electricity supply is very erratic and may be ineffective at preventing PPH and maternal mortality, sufficiently for Nigeria’s quest to accelerate pace towards MDG-5 target (FMOH, 2007). Misoprostol, another uterotonic that is available in tablet form, was thus approved by the Federal Ministry of Health in 2007 for the prevention and treatment of PPH (FMOH, 2007). It has since been in increased use in obstetric and gynaecological practice, including the treatment of post partum haemorrhage. This is because it is relatively inexpensive, has alternative routes of administration (rectally, orally, and sublingually), is easy to store and is stable in field condition, has long shelf life of about 3 years and is easy to use with or without a skilled attendant (Prata, 2005). These characteristics make it very important and useful in rural settings where the efficacy of the other uterotonics (and injection safety) are not assured and the skilled birth attendants to administer the latter are even in short supply. FIGO and ICM (2005), jointly recommend that in the absence of safe injection, oral misoprostol should be administered to prevent and treat post partum haemorrhage by a skilled birth attendant especially in rural areas. Therefore, there is need to promote misoprostol as an effective and easily administered drug for the prevention of PPH, and to ensure its ready availability in all settings where deliveries take place in the country especially in Primary health care facilities. This is because Primary Health Centres (PHCs) are the basic health care units in the country, and are located mainly in the rural communities where other categories of health facilities are few. Women needing delivery care first present in PHCs, and only when they experience severe complications are they referred to secondary or tertiary levels of care (Okonofua, 2010).

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages83 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
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