How do low-birthweight neonates fare 2 years after discharge from a low-technology neonatal care unit in a rural district hospital in Burundi?

Study assesses mortality, developmental impairments and nutritional status of low-birthweight children

Abstract

Objectives

As neonatal care is being scaled up in economically poor settings, there is a need to know more on post-hospital discharge and longer-term outcomes. Of particular interest are mortality, prevalence of developmental impairments and malnutrition, all known to be worse in low-birthweight neonates (LBW, <2500 g). Getting a better handle on these parameters might justify and guide support interventions. 2 years after hospital discharge, the authors thus assessed: mortality, developmental impairments and nutritional status of LBW children.

Methods

Household survey of low birth weight (LBW) neonates discharged from a neonatal special care unit in Rural Burundi between January and December 2012.

Conclusions

Reassuringly, most children were thriving 2 years after discharge. However, malnutrition was prevalent and one in three manifested developmental impairments (particularly very LBWs) echoing the need for support programmes. A considerable proportion of children could not be traced, and this emphasises the need for follow-up systems post-discharge.

This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building Programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)

Citation

Van den Boogaard W, Zuniga I, Manzi M, Van den Bergh R, Lefevre A, Nanan-N’zeth K, Duchenne B, Etienne W, Juma N, Ndelema B, Zachariah R, Reid A. How do low-birthweight neonates fare 2 years after discharge from a low-technology neonatal care unit in a rural district hospital in Burundi? Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2017;22(4):423–30.

How do low-birthweight neonates fare 2 years after discharge from a low-technology neonatal care unit in a rural district hospital in Burundi?

Published 2 March 2017