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Perinatal Mortality in the Private Specialist Hospital Setting in South East Nigeria

Nwosu Betrand Obi, Eke Nkem O, Obi-Nwosu Amaka, Eke Chidinma O

Background: Perinatal deaths remain high in the developing world, including Nigeria. This study is aimed at determining the pattern of perinatal deaths as well as the associated factors in a private specialist hospital setting. This would help in planning group specific healthcare interventions for improved perinatal outcome.

Method : This is a five year retrospective survey of perinatal deaths at Chimex Specialist Hospital, Nnewi from July 1 2006 to June 30, 2011. The data was analyzed using EPI info 2000 software. Frequencies were within 95% confidence limits.

Results: A total of 36 perinatal deaths occurred during the period of study, giving a perinatal mortality rate of 23.6 per 1000 births. Majority, 21 (58.3%) of the babies were born via spontaneous vertex delivery. Twenty-two (61.1%) had low birth weight. Most, 24 (66.7%) of the babies were stillborn and one was malformed. Number of antenatal care (ANC) visits, booking gestational age, maternal age, gestational age at delivery and birth weight were found to influence birth outcome.

Conclusion: This study identified the number of antenatal care visits, gestational age at booking, birth weight, gestational age delivery and maternal age as predictors of perinatal outcome. Early ANC booking and compliance with ANC visits by pregnant women is therefore vital in reducing perinatal deaths, hence improving possibility of attaining MDG 4.