Prenatal care associated with reduction of neonatal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from demographic and health surveys

Rebekah J. McCurdy, Kristen H. Kjerulff, Zhu Junjia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To determinewhether prenatal care by a skilled provider (physician, nurse or midwife) and specific prenatal interventions were associated with decreased neonatal mortality. Design. Mothers' reports in nationally representative surveys (conducted 2003-2009) about their most recent delivery were analyzed. Setting. Sub-Saharan Africa, 17 least developed countries (UN designation). Population. 89 655 women aged 15-49 years with a singleton birth within 3 years prior to survey. Methods. Logistic regression models were used to measure the associations between having a skilled prenatal provider, as well as specific interventions, and neonatal mortality. Main Outcome Measures. Neonatal mortality, defined as a live birth ending in death at less than onemonth of age.Results.Overall, 70.7% ofwomen saw a skilled prenatal provider during their previous pregnancy. Prenatal care from a skilled provider was associated with a decreased neonatal mortality risk compared with no provider [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.62-0.80] and comparedwith an unskilled provider (AOR0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.96). Themost effective prenatal interventionswereweight (AOR0.71,95%CI 0.64-0.80) and blood pressure measurements (AOR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69-0.86), and two ormore tetanus immunizations (AOR 0.78, 95% CI 0.70-0.86). Four ormore prenatal visits compared with none were associated with decreased neonatal mortality risk (AOR 0.68, 95% CI 0.59-0.79). Conclusions. Prenatal care provided by skilled providers, at least four prenatal visits, weight and blood pressure assessment, and two or more tetanus immunizations were associated with decreased neonatal mortality in Sub-Saharan African countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-790
Number of pages12
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Volume90
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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