A cross-sectional survey was conducted in neonatal and maternity units of five Kenyan district public hospitals. Data for 1 year were obtained: 3999 maternal and 1836 neonatal records plus tallies of maternal deaths, deliveries and stillbirths. There were 40 maternal deaths [maternal mortality ratio: 276 per 100 000 live births, 95% confidence interval (CI): 197-376]. Fresh stillbirths ranged from 11 to 43 per 1000 births. A fifth (19%, 263 of 1384, 95% CI: 11-30%) of the admitted neonates died. Compared with normal birth weight, odds of death were significantly higher in all of the low birth weight (LBW, <2500 g) categories, with the highest odds for the extremely LBW (<1000 g) category (odds ratio: 59, 95% CI: 21-158, p < 0.01). The observed maternal mortality, stillbirths and neonatal mortality call for implementation of the continuum of care approach to intervention delivery with particular emphasis on LBW babies.
Keywords: Neonatal morbidity and mortality; developing countries; hospital care; maternal mortality; still births.
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