Prevalence and factors associated with neonatal mortality among neonates hospitalized at the National Hospital Nouakchott, Mauritania

Pan Afr Med J. 2019 Nov 18:34:152. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2019.34.152.14683. eCollection 2019.


Introduction: Neonatal mortality remains a significant public health burden worldwide, with about 4 million deaths per year. To provide evidence for the implementation of prevention measures aimed at the reduction of neonatal mortality, we performed a study on factors associated with neonatal mortality at the Referral Hospital in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study between January 2013 and December 2013 and included neonatal patients hospitalized at the National Referral Hospital (NRH). Data were collected by reviewing the medical charts and through questionnaires administered to the parents.

Results: Two hundred and thirty-two (34.7%) of the 669 neonates included in the study died; 159 (71.3%) of deaths occurred during the first six days of life. Most neonates that died were born outside the hospital and admitted to NRH after birth (71.7%; 142/198). About 1/3 were transferred from other parts of the country outside of Nouakchott. Thirty (13.4%) of deaths were neonates born from teenage mothers. In bivariate analysis teenage mothers (RR=1.54; 95% CI: 1.15-2.05; p = 0.004), illiteracy of father (1.61; 1.13-23.0; p = 0.007), birth outside NRH (1.65; 1.28-2.13; p < 0.0001), low gestational age (3.28; 2.40-5.50; p < 0.0001), and low body temperature at admission (1.42; 1.11-1.83; p < 0.004) were significantly associated with neonatal death. In logistic regression analysis, low birth weight (adjusted odds ratio = 3.91; 95% confidence interval 1.69-9.05; p = 0.001), hypothermia (2.40; 1.12-5.14; p = 0.025), and birth outside the NRH (2.13; 1.02-4.45; p = 0.044) were independently associated with neonatal deaths.

Conclusion: Neonatal mortality remains a significant burden in Mauritania. We identified different socioeconomic and clinical risk factors indicating the need for more intensified prenatal care and improved transport of high risk neonates, especially in the regions outside the capital.

Keywords: Neonatal mortality; hospitalization; neonates; risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mauritania / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult