Comparative analyses of childhood deaths in Sagamu, Nigeria: Implications for the fourth MDG.

Tinuade Ogunlesi, Folasade Adekanmbi, Durotoye Olanrewaju, Adebiyi Olowu


Background: The fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) aims at reducing childhood deaths in the developing world by 2015.
Objective: To examine the pattern of childhood deaths in a Nigerian tertiary hospital which serves at least three states of the federation between 1996 and 2005?
Method: A retrospective study of paediatric deaths between January 1996 and December 2005. Subjects admitted in the pre-MDG period were compared with those admitted in the MDG period.
Results: Out of 10,451 paediatric admissions, 1320 (12.6%) died but only 1225 were studied. The male-to-female ratio was 1.4:1. Although the yearly mortality rate ranged from 10.7% to 14.9%, however the overall mortality rate for the pre-MDG period was similar to that obtained during the MDG-period (p = 0.135) Most deaths (69.1%) occurred within 48 hours of hospitalization. Of the 1225 mortalities, 57.3% were neonates. These neonatal deaths were commonly due to prematurity (34.6%), perinatal asphyxia (30.8%) and septicaemia (24.8%) while severe anaemia was the most common cause of death among infants (20.1%) and toddlers (25.1%). Severe malaria, severe anaemia and tetanus formed 33.3% of all the deaths among children older than 5 years.

There was no significant difference in the role of prematurity (p = 0.298) and measles (p = 0.927) as causes of death before and during the MDG. HIV/AIDS (p = 0.046) became commoner as a result of the HIV pandemic while severe malaria (p = 0.041) became less common as causes of death during the same period.
Conclusion: Childhood mortality rate remained high over the ten-year period studied. The causes of the deaths were mostly infectious and other preventable conditions. The utilization of specific target-oriented interventions IMCI and primary health care may reduce the childhood deaths before 2015.

Authors' affiliations

Tinuade Ogunlesi, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital

Folasade Adekanmbi, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital

Durotoye Olanrewaju, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital

Adebiyi Olowu, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital

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Childhood, mortality, Nigeria

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2007;1(3):102.

Article History

Date submitted: 2007-06-01
Date published: 2007-11-26

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