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Association between quality of intrapartum care with fresh stillbirth in a low-income urban setting

G. Gwako
M. Obimbo
P.B. Gichangi
O. Gachuno
J. Kinuthia
F. Were


Introduction: Africa bears the greatest burden of stillbirth and yet, there is a paucity of data from this setting. The aim of this study was to  determine the association between quality of intrapartum care and fresh stillbirth in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods and materials: This was a case control study in 4 tertiary public hospitals in Nairobi county from August 2018 to April 2019. Two hundred and fourteen women with stillbirths and 428 women with livebirths between 28-42 weeks were enrolled. Fifty-five (55) of the 214 women had fresh stillbirths and were included in this analysis. Information was obtained through interviews and data abstraction from the medical records. The exposure variables were sociodemographics, refferal status, intrapartum complications, partogram use and fetal heart rate monitoring. The two-sample t-test was used to compare continuous variables and Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests for categorical variables. The association between exposure and outcome variables was done using bivariate and multivariate analysis using logistic regression. Statistical significance was defined as a two-tailed p-value ≤ 0.05.

Results: Refferal (OR 3.4, 95 % CI 1.9-6.03, P=0.001); no use of a partogram (OR 4.7 95% CI 2.6-8.4, P=<0.001); no fetal heart rate monitoring per  schedule (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.7, P=0.03), caesarean (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1-3.34, P=0.05) or beech delivery (OR 18, 95% CI=3.2-103, P=0.001) were  associated with fresh stillbirth.

Conclusion: Improving the referral system, intrapartum care and timely caesarean delivery can reduce the risk of fresh stillbirth.