Nigeria is a major contributor to the estimated stillbirth rate of 32.2 per 1000 deliveries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Objective: To study the incidence and contributory factors to stillbirths in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).
Method: A cross sectional study of stillbirths in JUTH from 1st of January, 2003 to 31st December, 2007 using delivery records and patient case notes.
Results: During the study period there were 13799 deliveries and 598 stillbirths giving an incidence of 44/1000 births. Macerated stillbirths accounted for 40.1% while fresh stillbirth account for 59.9% of these deaths. Case files of 516 (86.3%) were retrieved. Many of the women 86(16.7%) were either unbooked or had their antenatal care outside JUTH 237(45.9%). Stillbirth rates were higher in extremes of ages, <20 years and women aged 45 years and above and lowest in women aged 20 to 24 years. Stillbirth rate was also highest in uneducated and housewives that were not gainfully employed and farmers. Stillbirths were commoner in extremes of parity, 36.7/1000 births in para 1 and 56.9/1000 births in para 5 and above. Women that had assisted breech deliveries and forceps deliveries have the highest stillbirth rates of 113.0 and 162.3 per 1000 births respectively. Common causes of stillbirth were abruptio placentae (24.2%), hypertensive diseases (22.3%) and infections (10.4%). In 13.6% of the cases, there were no known obvious causes of stillbirth
Conclusion: Stillbirth is high in our center as is obtain from other centers in Nigeria. The causes are from preventable factors. Therefore urgent measures are needed to address these high fetal wastages.