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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 28, No. 4, 2010, pp. 375-382
Bioline Code: hn10049
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2010, pp. 375-382

 en Causes of neonatal deaths in a rural Subdistrict of Bangladesh: Implications for intervention
Chowdhury, Hafizur Rahman; Thompson, Sandra; Ali, Mohammed; Alam, Nurul; Yunus, Md. & Streatfield, Peter Kim


The study assessed the timing and causes of neonatal deaths in a rural area of Bangladesh. A population-based demographic surveillance system, run by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, recorded livebirths and neonatal deaths during 2003-2004 among a population of 224,000 living in Matlab, a rural subdistrict of eastern Bangladesh. Deaths were investigated using the INDEPTH/ World Health Organization verbal autopsy. Three physicians independently reviewed data from verbal au-topsy interview to assign the cause of death. There were 11,291 livebirths and 365 neonatal deaths during the two-year period. The neonatal mortality rate was 32.3 per 1,000 livebirths. Thirty-seven percent of the neonatal deaths occurred within 24 hours, 76% within 0-3 days, 84% within 0-7 days, and the remaining 16% within 8-28 days. Birth asphyxia (45%), prematurity/low birthweight (15%), sepsis/meningitis (12%), respiratory distress syndrome (7%), and pneumonia (6%) were the major direct causes of death. Birth as-phyxia (52.8%) was the single largest category of cause of death in the early neonatal period while meningi-tis/sepsis (48.3%) was the single largest category in the late neonatal period. The high proportion of deaths during the early neonatal period and the far-higher proportion of neonatal deaths caused by birth asphyxia compared to the global average (45% vs 23-29%) indicate the lack of skilled birth attendance and newborn care for the large majority of births that occur in the home in rural Bangladesh. Resuscitation of newborns and management of low-birthweight/premature babies need to be at the core of neonatal interventional packages in rural Bangladesh.

Causes of death; Interventions; Neonatal mortality; Verbal autopsy; Bangladesh

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