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East Afr Med J. 1993 Jul;70(7):434-7.

Epidemiological factors associated with neonatal tetanus mortality: observations from a cluster survey in Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Specialist Hospital, Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria.


A cluster survey on neonatal tetanus (NNT) mortality was conducted in Kano Metropolis, Northern Nigeria, to investigate epidemiological factors associated with NNT mortality. The survey was a two-stage cluster sampling technique and lasted for two weeks. A total of 2,623 live-births were recorded over a 12-month period. Less than 40% of the births followed two or more antenatal visits and tetanus toxoid coverage was 32.0%. Over 60% of births were outside hospitals and related facilities. Of the epidemiological factors investigated, only antenatal care, tetanus toxoid coverage, hospital delivery, poor cord management and traditional surgery showed significant association with NNT death. It is suggested that an appropriate community-specific prevention strategy for the region should include health education to improve utilisation of antenatal and hospital-delivery facilities, discourage traditional surgery and improve tetanus toxoid coverage. A case is also made for training and involvement of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) since most deliveries occurred outside hospitals and related facilities.

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