Childhood morbidity and mortality at the children emergency room of a tertiary institution, in south east Nigeria: A re-appraisal

  • Nneka Chioma Okoronkwo
  • Ijeoma Nduka
  • Ikechukwu Frank Ogbonna


Introduction: A regular reappraisal of the morbidity and mortality pattern in our children emergency rooms will go a long way in policy makings that will help in achieving the sustainable development goal (SGD)-3. With such evidence-based policies, childhood morbidity and mortality will surely reduce.
Objective: This study was aimed at re-appraising the morbidity and  mortality pattern in our children emergency room (CHER), after the initial audit 10 years ago.
Methods :This was a retrospective descriptive study over a 7-year period. The study population comprised of all children aged 1 month to 16 years that presented to the CHER of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, Nigeria, from January 2011 to December 2017. The age, gender, duration of illness before presentation, diagnoses and disease outcome of these patients, were all retrieved from the CHER register and hospital medical records.
Results: Six thousand eight hundred and twenty-five (6825) patients were seen over the study period. There were 4075 males and 2750 females, giving a Male: Female ratio of 1.5:1. Majority (>90%) of these patients were aged =5 years. Severe malaria (24.5%), Gastroenteritis (20.9%), bronchopneumonia (20.1%) and septicaemia (14.7%) were the leading causes of admission into CHER. Mortality rate was 6.2%, with >80.0% of this death occurring in children aged =5 years. Mortality was significantly  associated with age and sex. Bronchopneumonia (37.0%) and severe malaria (33.0%) were the leading causes of death. A total of 5.1% of the patients were discharged against medical advice (DAMA).
Conclusion: There was an increase in our patient load, and significant  reduction in child mortality at our CHER. Infections and malaria remained the leading causes of morbidity and death. Improvement in human and material resources in the CHER is inevitable in achieving SDG-3.

Keywords: Morbidity, Mortality, SDG, Children Emergency Room, Re-appraisal.

Running title: Childhood Morbidity and Mortality at the Children Emergency Room of a Tertiary Institution.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1115-2613