The objective of this study was to identify and quantify risk factors for perinatal mortality in a Kenyan district hospital and to assess the proportion of perinatal deaths attributable to labour complications, maternal under-nutrition, malaria, anaemia and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A cross-sectional study of 910 births was conducted between January 1996 and July 1997 and risk factors for perinatal mortality were analysed. The perinatal mortality rate was 118 per 1000 births. Complications of labour such as haemorrhage, premature rupture of membranes/premature labour, and obstructed labour/ malpresentation increased the risk of death between 8- and 62-fold, and 53% of all perinatal deaths were attributable to labour complications. Placental malaria and maternal HIV, on the other hand, were not associated with perinatal mortality. The study concluded that greater attention needs to be given to the quality of obstetric care provided in the rural district-hospital setting.
Weiner, R.; Ronsmans, C.; Dorman, E.; Jilo, H.; Muhoro, A.; Shulman, C. Labour complications remain the most important risk factors for perinatal mortality in rural Kenya. Bulletin of the World Health Organization (2003) 81 (7) 1-6.