Infant morbidity leading to infant mortality

Hafsa Habib, Maheen Lohani, Habibullah Khan, Muhammad Hussain Khan


Background: Infant morbidity and mortality are important measures of a nation’s health. The aim of this study was to explore the causes and risk factors affecting infant morbidity and mortality in our set up.

Material & Methods: It was a cross-sectional study, conducted at Pediatrics Unit, DHQ Teaching Hospital, D.I.Khan, from June 3, 2007 to July 5, 2007. Infants under one year of age were included. Those with accidental injury related illnesses were excluded. Study instrument included structured questionnaire. Data was analysed using SPSS version 13.

Results: One hundred and fifty infants were observed during the study period; 51(34%) in neonatal period whereas 99(66%) in post-neonatal period. Hospital based diagnosis showed diarrhea syndrome in 73(48.7%), neonatal sepsis 16(10.7%), birth asphyxia 15(10%), neonatal jaundice 13(8.7%), whooping cough 13(8.7%) and other diseases 15(10%). Seven (4.7%) infants died. The cause of death was birth asphyxia in 4(57.1%), respiratory distress 2(28.6%) and aspiration of vomitus 1(14.2%). Contributing factors were present in 4(57.1%) and included prematurity in 2(28.6%), neonatal jaundice 1(14.2%) and diarrhea syndrome 1(14.2%).

Conclusion: The frequency of infant’s death is 4.7% in our set up. Most of these occur in neonatal period and the cause of death in most cases is birth asphyxia with contributing prematurity.

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