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Survival of low birthweight neonates in Uganda : Analysis of progress between 1995 and 2011

Arunda, Malachi Ochieng; Agardh, Anette LU and Asamoah, Benedict Oppong LU (2018) In BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 18(1).
Abstract

Background: Although low birthweight (LBW) babies represent only 15.5% of global births, it is the leading underlying cause of deaths among newborns in countries where neonatal mortality rates are high. In Uganda, like many other sub-Saharan African countries, the progress of reducing neonatal mortality has been slow and the contribution of low birthweight to neonatal deaths over time is unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between low birthweight and neonatal mortality and to determine the trends of neonatal deaths attributable to low birthweight in Uganda between 1995 and 2011. Methods: Cross-sectional survey datasets from Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys between 1995 and 2011 were analyzed using... (More)

Background: Although low birthweight (LBW) babies represent only 15.5% of global births, it is the leading underlying cause of deaths among newborns in countries where neonatal mortality rates are high. In Uganda, like many other sub-Saharan African countries, the progress of reducing neonatal mortality has been slow and the contribution of low birthweight to neonatal deaths over time is unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between low birthweight and neonatal mortality and to determine the trends of neonatal deaths attributable to low birthweight in Uganda between 1995 and 2011. Methods: Cross-sectional survey datasets from Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys between 1995 and 2011 were analyzed using binary logistic regression with 95% confidence interval (CI) and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis to examine associations and trends of neonatal mortalities with respect to LBW. A total of 5973 singleton last-born live births with measured birthweights were included in the study. Results: The odds of mortality among low birthweight neonates relative to normal birthweight babies were; in 1995, 6.2 (95% CI 2.3 -17.0), in 2000-2001, 5.3 (95% CI 1.7 -16.1), in 2006, 4.3 (95% CI 1.3 - 14.2) and in 2011, 3.8 (95% CI 1.3 - 11.2). The proportion of neonatal deaths attributable to LBW in the entire population declined by more than half, from 33.6% in 1995 to 15.3% in 2011. Neonatal mortality among LBW newborns also declined from 83.8% to 73.7% during the same period. Conclusion: Low birthweight contributes to a substantial proportion of neonatal deaths in Uganda. Although significant progress has been made to reduce newborn deaths, about three-quarters of all LBW neonates died in the neonatal period by 2011. This implies that the health system has been inadequate in its efforts to save LBW babies. A holistic strategy of community level interventions such as improved nutrition for pregnant mothers, prevention of teenage pregnancies, use of mosquito nets during pregnancy, antenatal care for all, adequate skilled care during birth to prevent birth asphyxia among LBW babies, and enhanced quality of postnatal care among others could effectively reduce the mortality numbers.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Attributable neonatal mortality, Cross-sectional, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, Logistic regression, Low birthweight
in
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
volume
18
issue
1
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • scopus:85047732105
ISSN
1471-2393
DOI
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4669fc05-4d7f-4723-959d-24039b1327bd
date added to LUP
2018-06-12 15:25:15
date last changed
2018-06-13 03:00:05
@article{4669fc05-4d7f-4723-959d-24039b1327bd,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Although low birthweight (LBW) babies represent only 15.5% of global births, it is the leading underlying cause of deaths among newborns in countries where neonatal mortality rates are high. In Uganda, like many other sub-Saharan African countries, the progress of reducing neonatal mortality has been slow and the contribution of low birthweight to neonatal deaths over time is unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between low birthweight and neonatal mortality and to determine the trends of neonatal deaths attributable to low birthweight in Uganda between 1995 and 2011. Methods: Cross-sectional survey datasets from Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys between 1995 and 2011 were analyzed using binary logistic regression with 95% confidence interval (CI) and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis to examine associations and trends of neonatal mortalities with respect to LBW. A total of 5973 singleton last-born live births with measured birthweights were included in the study. Results: The odds of mortality among low birthweight neonates relative to normal birthweight babies were; in 1995, 6.2 (95% CI 2.3 -17.0), in 2000-2001, 5.3 (95% CI 1.7 -16.1), in 2006, 4.3 (95% CI 1.3 - 14.2) and in 2011, 3.8 (95% CI 1.3 - 11.2). The proportion of neonatal deaths attributable to LBW in the entire population declined by more than half, from 33.6% in 1995 to 15.3% in 2011. Neonatal mortality among LBW newborns also declined from 83.8% to 73.7% during the same period. Conclusion: Low birthweight contributes to a substantial proportion of neonatal deaths in Uganda. Although significant progress has been made to reduce newborn deaths, about three-quarters of all LBW neonates died in the neonatal period by 2011. This implies that the health system has been inadequate in its efforts to save LBW babies. A holistic strategy of community level interventions such as improved nutrition for pregnant mothers, prevention of teenage pregnancies, use of mosquito nets during pregnancy, antenatal care for all, adequate skilled care during birth to prevent birth asphyxia among LBW babies, and enhanced quality of postnatal care among others could effectively reduce the mortality numbers.</p>},
  articleno    = {189},
  author       = {Arunda, Malachi Ochieng and Agardh, Anette and Asamoah, Benedict Oppong},
  issn         = {1471-2393},
  keyword      = {Attributable neonatal mortality,Cross-sectional,Kaplan-Meier survival analysis,Logistic regression,Low birthweight},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth},
  title        = {Survival of low birthweight neonates in Uganda : Analysis of progress between 1995 and 2011},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2018},
}