CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background to the Study Globally, a woman dies every minute from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth (Igbease, Isah and Igbeleoyi 2009 cited in Ochako, Fotso, Ikamari and Khasakhala, 2011). According to the same authors about half a million women die yearly due to maternal causes with 99% of the deaths taking place in developing countries. Pregnant mothers in developing countries experience short or long term life threatening conditions related to pregnancy and child birth including maternal death (Asghar, Ashfag, Naimatullah, Igbal, Tanvir and Samina, 2009; Nitai, Ataharul, Rafiqul, Wasimul and Halida, 2003). These include haemorrhage, eclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), vesico vagina fistula (VVF) among others. Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, child birth and postpartum period (WHO, 2011). It involves ensuring good health of mother and baby during pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period (National Reproductive Health policy and Frame work, 2005 – 2008). Maternal health simply means maintaining the health and general well-being of women from pregnancy through birth and six weeks after child birth. In recognition of the need to improve maternal health status, detect and manage life threatening complications many international conferences were held. They include Safe Motherhood Initiative held in Nairobi in 1987 and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) of 1994.