Prevalence of sepsis among neonates admitted to Kisii Level 5 Hospital

  • C.W. Kariuki
  • F.E. Onyango
  • R.N. Musoke
  • L.N. Mungai


Introduction: Infections are the third commonest cause of death in the neonate, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in resource limited countries such as Kenya which has a neonatal mortality rate of 22 per 1000 live births according to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, 2014.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence, pattern of bacterial causes and the economic and socio-demographic factors associated with sepsis in neonates admitted to Kisii Level 5 Hospital.

Design: A descriptive cross- sectional study.

Setting: Newborn Unit and Paediatric Wards of the Kisii Level 5 Hospital.

Subjects: Eighty neonates admitted at Kisii Level 5 Newborn Unit and Paediatric wards.

Methods: Out of a study population of 406, consecutive sampling was done until the sample size of 80 neonates with clinical definition of sepsis was achieved. Sepsis was defined as refusal to breastfeed, convulsions, lethargy, fast breathing, grunting, nasal flaring, severe lower chest wall in- drawing, fever ≥ 37.5°C or hypothermia <35.5°C, deep jaundice involving palms and soles of the feet, ten or more pustules, umbilical redness extending to the periumbilical skin, pus draining from the ear and central cyanosis. These neonates had blood taken for full blood count and culture with sensitivity.

Results: The prevalence of clinical sepsis was 19.7% (95% CI 15.9- 23.9). Neonatal sepsis was significantly associated with maternal dysuria (p= 0.018). There were no significant associations between socio -demographic factors and neonatal sepsis.

Conclusion: Neonatal sepsis contributes to a significant proportion of neonatal admissions to Kisii Level 5 Hospital.


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eISSN: 0012-835X