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Trop Geogr Med. 1994;46(5):313-7.

Survival chances of low birth weight infants in a rural hospital in Ghana.

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  • 1Paediatric Department, Agogo Hospital (Presbyterian Church of Ghana), Ashanti region.


The birthweight and mortality in hospital was recorded of 567 low birth weight (LBW, < or = 2000 g) infants born/admitted during a 7 years period in Agogo Hospital situated in the rainforest area of Ghana. One hundred and fifty-two (26.8%) of these children died in hospital; 87 (57%) of them in the first 48 hours. The average length of stay in hospital of the surviving children was 11.6 days. The death rate varied from 8.4% in the 1,751 to 2,000 g group to 83.3% in infants with a birth weight < or = 1000 g. The proportion LBW children to the total newborn population was 5.5%; the proportion of extreme LBW (< or = 1000 g) to the total number LBW infants was 7.3%. The results are compared with figures from other countries, many of them with a more westernized infrastructure. In our setting, no sophisticated equipment and expensive intensive care provisions were available. This descriptive study was carried out to establish the survival rate in the neonatal period during the primary stay in hospital with low-cost conservative care. Dedicated staff members, who underwent only a simple training programme, and mothers participating in the care for their children contributed to the relatively favourable outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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