Perinatal mortality in rural Burkina Faso: a prospective community-based cohort study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: There is a scarcity of reliable data on perinatal mortality (PNM) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The PROMISEEBF trial, during which we promoted exclusive breastfeeding, gave us the opportunity to describe the epidemiology of PNM in Banfora Health District, South-West in Burkina Faso. Study objectives: To measure the perinatal mortality rate (PNMR) in the PROMISE-EBF cohort in Banfora Health District and to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death. Methods: We used data collected prospectively during the PROMISE-EBF-trial to estimate the stillbirth rate (SBR) and early neonatal mortality rate (ENMR). We used binomial regression with generalized estimating equations to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death. Results: 895 pregnant women were enrolled for data collection in the EBF trial and followed-up to 7 days after birth. The PNMR, the SBR and the ENMR, were 79 per 1000 (95% CI: 59-99), 54 per 1000 (95% CI: 38-69) and 27 per 1000 (95% CI: 9-44), respectively. In a multivariable analysis, nulliparous women (RR = 2.90, 95% CI: 1.6-5.0), primiparae mothers (RR = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.2-3.9), twins (RR = 4.0, 95% CI: 2.3-6.9) and giving birth during the dry season (RR = 2.1 95% CI: 1.3-3.3) were factors associated with increased risk of perinatal death. There was no evidence that risk of perinatal death differed between deliveries at home and at a health centre. Conclusion: Our study observed the highest PNMR ever reported in Burkina. There is an urgent need for sustainable interventions to improve maternal and newborn health in the country.