Publications

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Improved Neonatal Mortality at a District Hospital in Aweil, South Sudan

  • 2017/06/01
Type of publication
  • Articles
Authors
  • Thomson
  • J.; Schaefer
  • M.; Caminoa
  • B.; Kahindi
  • D.; Hurtado
  • N.
Themes
  • Mortality

Neonatal deaths comprise a growing proportion of global under-five mortality. However, data from the highest-burden areas is sparse. This descriptive retrospective study analyses the outcomes of all infants exiting the Médecins sans Frontières-managed neonatal unit in Aweil Hospital, rural South Sudan from 2011 to 2014. A total of 4268 patients were treated over 4 years, with annual admissions increasing from 687 to 1494. Overall mortality was 13.5% (n = 576), declining from 18.7% to 11.1% (p for trend <0.001). Newborns weighing <2500 g were at significantly increased mortality risk compared with babies ≥2500 g (odds ratio = 2.27, 95% confidence interval = 1.9-2.71, p < 0.001). Leading causes of death included sepsis (49.7%), tetanus (15.8%), respiratory distress (12.8%) and asphyxia (9.2%). Tetanus had the highest case fatality rate (49.7%), followed by perinatal asphyxia (26.5%), respiratory distress (20.4%) and neonatal sepsis (10.5%). Despite increasing admissions, overall mortality declined, indicating that survival of these especially vulnerable infants can be improved even in a basic-level district hospital programme.