High global neonatal deaths have triggered efforts to improve facility-based care. However, the outcomes achievable at different levels of care are unclear. This study compared morbidity and mortality patterns of newborns admitted to a regional and a district hospital in Ghana to determine outcome, risk and modifiable factors associated with mortality.
This study compared morbidity and mortality patterns of newborns admitted to a regional and a district hospital in Ghana to determine outcome, risk and modifiable factors associated with mortality.
A cross-sectional study involving a records-review over one year at the Upper West Regional Hospital, and three years at St Joseph’s District Hospital, Jirapa was carried out. Age, sex, gestational age, weight, duration of admission, diagnosis, among others were examined. The data were analysed and statistical inference made.
Altogether, 2004 newborns were examined, comprising 1,241(62%) from St Joseph’s District Hospital and 763(38%) from Upper West Regional Hospital. The proportion of neonatal deaths was similar, 8.94% (St Joseph’s District Hospital) and 8.91% (Upper West Regional Hospital). Prematurity, neonatal sepsis, birth asphyxia, low birth weight, neonatal jaundice and pneumonia contributed the most to mortality and suspected infections including malaria accounted for almost half (45.5%). Mortality was significantly associated with duration of stay of 48 hours, being premature, and being younger than 3 days.
Majority of the mortality among the neonates admitted was due to preventable causes. Better stabilization and further studies on the epidemiology of sepsis, prematurity, low birth weight, including the contribution of malaria to these and outcome of transferred neonates are needed.