What is it about?

Even though there have been some improvements in the care offered for newborn babies, infant death rates in lower-income countries, like Uganda, remain high. To reduce the number of deaths, hospitals need to provide both basic and advanced care. However, only a few local hospitals in Uganda can afford to do so because it costs a lot of money. So, the authors of this study assessed two levels of affordable infant care in Nsambya Hospital, Uganda, over two phases: from 2007 to 2014 (phase I) and from 2015 to 2020 (phase II). They monitored the changes occurring over time and evaluated how these changes affected the causes of infant mortality. They studied how different care measures affected overall and illness specific causes of infant deaths.

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Why is it important?

To lower infant deaths in lower-income countries like Uganda, better healthcare for babies at birth and special care for those born premature or sick are crucial. This study used heat bulbs for warmth, bCPAP for oxygen, light therapy for jaundice, breast milk for preterm babies, safe antibiotics, and infection control. The study found that the average infant death rate in the hospital went down from 8.2% during phase I to 5.7% during phase II. The death rate for premature babies went down from 16.2% to 9.2%, and there was a slight decrease in deaths from low oxygen (asphyxia) from 14.9% to 13.0%. However, the death rate for infections (sepsis) doubled from 3% to 6.8%, showing that infection control needs to do better. KEY TAKEAWAY: Special infant care measures, with a focus on better infection control, can help reduce deaths in preterm and sick babies. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being • SDG 1: No Poverty • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities • SDG 2: Zero Hunger • SDG 5: Gender Equality

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Impact of secondary and tertiary neonatal interventions on neonatal mortality in a low- resource limited setting hospital in Uganda: a retrospective study, BMJ Open, August 2022, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-055698.
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