• Morbidities & outcomes of a neonatal intensive care unit in a complex humanitarian conflict setting, Hajjah Yemen: 2017-2018

      Eze, P; Al-Maktari, F; Alshehari, AH; Lawani, LO (BioMed Central, 2020-07-29)
      Background The protracted conflict in Yemen has taken a massive toll on the health system, negatively impacting the health of children, especially the most vulnerable age group; the newborns. Methods A 2-year retrospective study of admissions into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Al-Gomhoury Hospital Hajjah, Northwest Yemen was conducted. Data was analyzed with IBM SPSS® version 25.0 statistical software using descriptive/inferential statistics. Results A total of 976 newborns were eligible and included in this study; 506 preterm newborns (51.8%) and 470 term newborns (48.2%). Over half, 549 (56.3%) newborns were admitted within 24 h after birth and 681 (69.8%) newborns travelled for over 60 min to arrive at the NICU. The most common admission diagnoses were complications of prematurity (341; 34.9%), perinatal asphyxia (336; 34.4%), neonatal jaundice (187; 18.8%), and neonatal sepsis (157, 16.1%). The median length of stay in the NICU was 4 days. There were 213 neonatal deaths (Facility neonatal mortality rate was 218 neonatal deaths per 1000 livebirths); 192 (90.1%) were preterm newborns, while 177 (83.1%) were amongst newborns that travelled for more 60 min to reach the NICU. Significant predictors of neonatal deaths are preterm birth (aOR = 3.09, 95% CI: 1.26–7.59, p = 0.014 for moderate preterm neonates; aOR = 6.18, 95% CI: 2.12–18.01, p = 0.001 for very preterm neonates; and aOR = 44.59, 95% CI: 9.18–216.61, p <  0.001 for extreme preterm neonates); low birth weight (aOR = 3.67, 95% CI: 1.16–12.07, p = 0.032 for very low birth weight neonates; and aOR = 17.42, 95% CI: 2.97–102.08, p = 0.002 for extreme low birth weight neonates); and traveling for more than 60 min to arrive at the NICU (aOR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.07–5.04, p = 0.033). Neonates delivered by Caesarean section had lower odds of death (aOR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.20–0.73, p = 0.004) than those delivered by vaginal birth. Conclusions Preterm newborns bear disproportionate burden of neonatal morbidity and mortality in this setting which is aggravated by difficulties in accessing early neonatal care. Community-based model of providing basic obstetric and neonatal care could augment existing health system to improve neonatal survival in Yemen.