The use of the sisterhood method for estimating maternal mortality ratio in Lagos state, Nigeria

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011 May;31(4):315-9. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2011.561381.


Summary Estimates of maternal mortality are crucial to inform the planning of reproductive health programmes and guide advocacy. The aim of this study was to obtain a population-based estimate of maternal mortality in Lagos State, Nigeria. The sisterhood method was used in 2008 to carry out the survey using a questionnaire in which respondents were asked about their sisters who died during pregnancy, childbirth or within 6 weeks after childbirth. The survey involved 4,315 respondents who provided information on 9,910 ever married sisters. The life-time likelihood (risk) of maternal death for women aged 15-49 years was found to be 0.0239 or 1 in 42. The estimated maternal mortality ratio was 450 per 100,000 live births with a 95% CI of 360 and 530. Out of 111 reported deaths, 35 (31.5%) occurred during pregnancy, 49 (44.1%) occurred during delivery and 27 (24.3%) within 6 weeks of delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Developing Countries*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / mortality
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / mortality
  • Siblings
  • Young Adult