Data on morbidity and mortality are essential in assessing disease burden, monitoring and evaluation of health policies. The aim of this study is to describe the causes of morbidity and mortality in the wards of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
The study took a retrospective approach evaluating causes of morbidity and mortality from 2012-2017. Causes of death were documented based on International Classification of Disease 10 (ICD-10). Data were retrieved from health records department, UCTH.
Overall, 2,198 deaths were recorded out of the 49,287 admissions during the study period giving a mortality rate of 4.5% comprising 1,152 (52.4%) males and 1,046 (47.6%) females. A greater number of males were admitted via accident and emergency. Age group 15-45 years had the highest number of admissions (57.9%) and deaths (37.7%), while age group >65 years recorded the highest number of deaths per admission (9.7% mortality rate). The broad leading causes of death were infectious and parasitic disease and diseases of the circulatory system (cardiovascular diseases) accounting for 22.7% and 15.8% of all deaths, respectively. However, diseases of the circulatory system recorded the highest number of deaths per admission (13.7% mortality rate). Overall, infectious diseases were the chief cause of mortality in adults while conditions originating from perinatal period were the major cause of death in children. Septicemia (6.0%), stroke (4.2%), liver diseases (4.1%), tuberculosis (3.7%), diabetes (3.6%) and HIV/AIDS (3.4%) were the specific leading cases of deaths. Sepsis, chronic diseases of the tonsil and adenoids and malaria were the specific leading causes of death in children, while sepsis, stroke and liver diseases were the leading cause of death in adults.
Most causes of deaths in this study are preventable. This study revealed double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

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