Assessment of neonatal mortality major factors


Background: Neonatal mortality accounts for nearly half of the deaths of children under theage of five, the main leading causes for which are respiratory distress, infection, and congenitalanomalies. Action plans, which call for the elimination of preventable deaths of newborn babies,set specific targets to reduce neonatal mortality. This retrospective descriptive study wasconducted in the Basra Teaching Hospital for maternity and childhood from January 2019 toFebruary 2020, including all the neonates who were admitted in the first and second neonatalcare units of the hospital.Aim: This study aims to study the main causes of neonatal deaths in newborn babies in theneonatal care units at the main maternity and pediatric hospital of the Basra government.Patients and methods: A total of 716 neonatal deaths were registered along with days of lifebefore death and the cause of death; the cases were classified as early (1–6) days death and late(7–28) days death.Results: In this study, we found that the main causes of early neonatal death were respiratorydistress syndrome (68.4%), congenital anomalies (11.4%), infection (10.9%), birth asphyxia(7.2%), and other neonatal conditions (inborn error of metabolism, hemorrhagic disease ofnewborn, severe anemia, and unspecified causes) (2.1%), while for late neonatal death,respiratory distress (27.2%), congenital problems (17.7%), infection (45.6%), birth asphyxia(6.1%), and other conditions (3.4%) were cited.Conclusions: It is important to direct the health resources towards preventable causes ofneonatal deaths both before, during and after the delivery of a baby when the higher risk factorsare preventable (prematurity, birth problems, and sepsis). Using all available resources todecrease preterm labors and mother education toward pregnancy and to improve the facilitiesand quality of neonatal care at the delivery room and neonatal care units.