Author(s): Ciss CT, Yacoubou Y, Ndiaye O, DiopMbengue R, Moreau JC
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate early neonatal mortality at the University Teaching Hospital and assess changes in the rate and causes during the last ten years. MATERIAL AND METHOD: We performed a retrospective analysis of neonatal deaths recorded at the Neonatal and Premature Unit (NPU) in 2003. The results were compared with earlier evaluations. Comparison of proportions was used for statistical analysis to eliminate the random element in rate variations. The significance threshold was < or =5%. RESULTS: We registered 364 neonatal deaths: 243 among 4853 newborns in our maternity ward and 121 among 213 newborns transferred from a referring maternity. Early neonatal mortality rate 45.5 per 1,000 live births. Mortality particularly concerned newborns with a birth weight < or =2,500 grams (66%) and Apgar scores < or =6. Early neonatal mortality fell significantly since 1994, while overall mortality remained high among newborns transferred from referring maternities. The most frequent causes were premature birth (49%), acute fetal distress (23%) and neonatal infection (18%). CONCLUSION: Early neonatal mortality has decreased remains at a high level. It could be improved by limiting the number of premature births, neonatal suffering and neonatal infection. In a parallel direction we recommend organizing a perinatal network in Dakar.