Audit of Childhood Death in a Tertiary Care Center in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria


Obiora UJ, Ekpebe PA, Okoye C, David-Idiapho CG.

West Afr J Med. 2020 Apr-Jun;37(2):113-117.

PMID: 32150628

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Background: Childhood mortality is a serious public health concern. Periodic assessment of its trend is important in evaluating the pattern and planning intervention strategies.

Objective: The study aimed at evaluating the childhood mortality (<18 years) in Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

Methods: This is a descriptive retrospective study from 1st January, 2016 to 31st December, 2018 using mortality data from the institution.

Results: A total of 1,692 children were admitted during the study period, out of which 203 died, giving a mortality rate of 12%. They were composed of 126 males and 77 females with a mean age of 17.5 months. Neonates, children aged between 28 days and 1 year, between 12 months and 5 years and between 5 years and 18 years accounted for 46.8%, 14.3%, 16.3%, and 22.7% of the cases respectively. Sepsis, prematurity, birth asphyxia, congenital anomalies and bilirubin encephalopathy accounted for 30 (31.6%), 22 (23.2%), 15 (15.8%), 13(13.7%) and 5 (5.3%) of the cases respectively. Septicemia (31.0%) and bronchopneumonia (13.9%) were the leading causes of infant death. Leading causes of under-5 mortality (excluding infants) include burns, malaria, anemia/anemic heart failure, traumatic injury, meningitis and pneumonia, accounting for 18.2%, 18.2%, 12.1%, 12.1%, 9.1% and 9.1% of the cases respectively. Among children 5-18 years, meningitis/encephalitis, malignancies, renal disease, road traffic accident (RTA) and burns accounted for 9(19.6%), 8 (17.4%), 4 (8.7%), 4 (8.7%) and 3 (6.5%) cases respectively.

Conclusion: We observed excess of male mortality, with neonates being the most vulnerable. These deaths are attributed to preventable causes. There is need to intensify intervention programmes to reverse this trend.