Sahel Medical Journal

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The birth weight of apparently healthy Nigerian newborns in Sokoto

BO Onankpa, KI Airede, H Ahmed, NM Jiya


Objective: To determine the birth weight of apparently healthy newborns delivered at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This prospective study was carried out between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004. The criteria were booked mothers, mothers with regular menstrual cycles, availability of mother's last menstrual period ± report of an obstetric ultrasound scan and absence of first trimester vaginal bleeding. Maternal weight, height, birth order and socioeconomic status were also obtained. 253 babies were enrolled.

Results: There were 131 males and 122 females giving a male: female ratio of 1.1:1. Gestational age by maternal dates ranged from 28 to 44 weeks. There was a consistent increase in mean values of weight as the gestational age increased. The mean (SEM) weight for 24 babies of <33 weeks was 1146.82(79.49) grams. 43 babies, ≥ 33 to <37 weeks had mean (SEM) weight of 2007.25(66.01) grams, 140 babies, ≥ 37 to < 42 weeks had mean (SEM) weight of 3065(60.95) grams, and 46 babies, > 42 weeks had mean (SEM) weight of 3668.48(106.63) grams. The mean birth weight of the 253 infants in the study was 2472grams. Social class effect on birth weights recorded showed a higher birth weight series for social class I and II, and least for social class IV.

Conclusion: These findings are at variance from studies elsewhere within the country. The birth weight remains an important factor for a continuing re-appraisal of any nation's health care delivery system.

Keywords: birth weight, healthy Nigeria newborns, UDUTH, Sokoto

Sahel Medical Journal Vol. 9(1) 2006: 19-22
AJOL African Journals Online