Verbal Autopsy of Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths in a Rural Area of Burkina Faso


Introduction: In developing countries, many neonatal deaths still occur at home and the causes of these deaths are not ascertained. Objective: To identify the causes of stillbirths and neonatal deaths that occur at home and the factors that have contributed to these deaths. Materials and Method: We have used the method of verbal autopsy to investigate the stillbirths and neonatal deaths in nine villages in the health area of Namsiguia, health district of Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso, during the period January 1, 2007 to December 8, 2012. Results: Over these six years, we have recorded 19 stillbirths and 36 neonatal deaths among 1507 live births, demonstrating a neonatal mortality rate of 28.8 per1000 and a rate of stillbirths of 12.6 per 1000. The average age of newborns at death was 5.6 days and the sex-ratio was 1.6. The major cause of stillbirths was antenatal hypoxia and birth asphyxia (42.1%). The direct causes of neonatal deaths were neonatal sepsis (41.7%), preterm birth (19.4%) and hypoxia and birth asphyxia (11.1%). There were 42.1% deliveries and 58.3% neonatal deaths, which occurred at home. We have noted 89.5% fresh stillbirths. Death occurred more often during the early neonatal period (55.5%). Factors significantly associated with neonatal death were, lack of school education of mothers (OR = 4), precocious marriage of the mother (OR = 8), poor follow-up of pregnancies (OR = 3), birth at home (OR = 4), low socioeconomic level (OR = 6), and low geographical access to the health facility (OR = 4). Conclusions: Strengthening of the health infrastructure and improving their accessibility, reinforcement of the staff for high quality care, and communication for a change in behavior in rural communities, will contribute toward reducing neonatal mortality in the area of health of Namsiguia.

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Koueta, F. , Nagalo, K. , Ouedraogo, L. , Tall, F. and Ye, D. (2015) Verbal Autopsy of Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths in a Rural Area of Burkina Faso. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 5, 164-170. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2015.52025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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