Neonatal mortality in neonatal intensive care unit hospitals in Ethiopia remains unacceptably high: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Magnitude and determinants of neonatal mortality in NICU

Authors

  • Gizachew Tadele Tiruneh JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc./ The Last Ten Kilometers (L10K) Project, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Tesega Mengistu Birhanu Amhara public health institute, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Abdurahaman Seid Wollo University School of Public Health, Dessie, Ethiopia
  • Mahteme Haile Workneh Amhara public health institute, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Dareskedar Getie Amhara public health institute, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Tenagnework Antefe Abebe Amhara public health institute, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Ambanesh Necho Mulat UNICEF, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Taye Zeru Tadege Amhara public health institute, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Kassahun Alemu Gelaye Institute of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Tadesse Awoke Ayele Institute of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Keywords:

neonatal mortality, neonatal intensive care unit, Ethiopia, determinants, risk factors,

Abstract

Background: In Ethiopia, the neonatal mortality rate has not shown significant changes over time and is among the highest in the world. This review aimed to explore the pooled magnitude and determinates of neonatal mortality in the neonatal intensive care unit hospitals in Ethiopia.

Methods: The research team retrieved global peer-reviewed journal articles available as electronic databases including PubMed, Popline, and Scopus databases. Random-effects meta-analysis model was used to pool the estimates of the magnitude of mortality among studies. The results were presented as the pooled estimates (odds ratio and proportion) with 95% confidence intervals, at less than 0.05 significant levels. 

Results: In this review, 10 studies were included with a total of 8,729 neonates. Of these, 1,779 (20.4%) neonates died in the neonatal intensive care unit. The pooled neonatal mortality rate was 19.0% (95% CI: 14.0-25.0).  The neonatal mortality is three times higher among early age (OR: 2.80; 95% CI: 1.45-5.40) and preterm newborns (OR: 3.27; 95% CI: 2.12-5.07) than their counterparts. Early age of the newborn, prematurity, low birth weight, perinatal asphyxia, mode of delivery, hypothermia, late initiation of breastfeeding, and having antenatal care visits were the main determinants for neonatal mortality. 

Conclusion: Neonatal mortality in the intensive care unit is high. It is unacceptably high amongst early and preterm neonates. Special care for preterm and early age newborns, timely initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, and appropriate mode of delivery, essential obstetric and newborn care, and promoting antenatal visits are recommended to reduce neonatal mortality.

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Published

2021-03-26

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Section

Systematic review