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Pattern of morbidity and mortality of newborns admitted into the sick and special care baby unit of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu state

U Ekwochi
IK Ndu
IC Nwokoye
OU Ezenwosu
OF Amadi
DIC Osuorah


Background: Being the highest contributor to under-5 mortality, neonatal mortality and morbidity has great impact to the attainment of millennium development goals 4 (MDG 4). In Nigeria and other developing countries, this indicator strongly poses a major challenge in achieving this goal.

Objectives: To determine the morbidity and mortality pattern of admitted babies in the special care baby unit (SCBU) of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH).

Materials and Methods: This is a comparative and descriptive longitudinal study of causes of morbidity and mortality between babies born within (inborn) and outside our hospital facilities (outborn) based on information on place of birth, APGAR scores, age on admission, diagnosis on  admission, duration of hospital stay, and outcome of newborns admitted
into the sick and SCBU over a 1 year period.

Results: A total of 261 neonates were admitted during the period under review. The common causes of admissions seen from the study were perinatal asphyxia (80, 30.7%), low birth weight (64, 24.5%), neonatal sepsis (44, 16.9%), and neonatal jaundice (16, 0.06%). A total of 37 (14.2%) deaths were recorded during the period. The leading causes of deaths were severe form of perinatal asphyxia (18, 52.9%), neonatal sepsis (10, 29.4%), and very low birth weight (two, 0.06%). Fifty.five percent of all the deaths occurred within 24 h of admission. Death due
to asphyxia was more in babies born outside the hospital (outborn) than in babies born within the hospital (inborn). Equal number of outborn and inborn babies died from neonatal sepsis. The age at presentation to the sick baby unit was significantly lower in inborn (P = 0.004), while age at death was not different in both group of newborns (P = 0.876).

Conclusion: The neonatal mortality rate and the causes of death in this study are similar to those documented by other studies in Nigeria and are largely preventable. Strengthening perinatal care, emergency obstetric services, and enhancement of neonatal resuscitation skills to traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and other community health workers are necessary to reduce the neonatal mortality in our setting and other rural settings across developing countries.

Key words: Enugu, morbidity, mortality, newborn

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-7731
print ISSN: 1119-3077