Conference abstract

Suspected neonatal death investigation, Jaedae District, Sinoe County, February 2017

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(7).13 Oct 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.7.109
Archived on: 13 Oct 2017
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Neonatal deaths, Jarkupen community, trained traditional midwife
Oral presentation

Suspected neonatal death investigation, Jaedae District, Sinoe County, February 2017

Youhn Konway1, Joseph Asamoah Frimpong1,&, Maame Amo-Addae1, Lily Sanvee Blebo1, Faith Kamara1

1Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program, Liberia

&Corresponding author
Joseph Asamoah Frimpong, Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program, Monrovia, Liberia


Introduction: neonatal death is death of a baby at birth or within first 28 days of life. Neonates account for 45% of deaths among children under five. Liberia recorded 534 neonatal deaths in 2016 with 2.4% (13) from Sinoe County. The District Health Team received report of neonatal death in Jarkupen community on 2nd February, 2017. We investigated to confirm the event, establish the cause and take public health action.

Methods: Jarkupen community has 765 inhabitants. It is hard to reach; requiring about 9 hours footing to access health facility. We compared the series of events with the standard case definition to confirm the event. We interviewed community leaders, family members and health workers to establish the cause and took public health action based on findings.

Results: the mother was primiparous, aged 22 years. She never sought antenatal care. Labour was at term and managed by a trained traditional midwife (TTM) at home. The second stage of labour (delivery) was delayed to a point that TTM could no longer hear the foetal heartbeat. A male baby was eventually delivered vaginally but with no breathing and no heartbeat, although it was pink. The event did not meet the case definition of neonatal death but rather fresh still birth.

Conclusion: inadequate delivery and neonatal resuscitation skills of TTM could have contributed. TTMs are not supposed to conduct deliveries but a long distance from the community to the facility poses a challenge for compliance. We conducted community sensitization on maternal health and health-seeking behavior. Upon our recommendation, preparations are underway to build a maternal waiting home close to a health facility where pregnant women can reside when they are almost term.