Conference abstract

An evaluation of the still births surveillance system, Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia, January 2017

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(72).26 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.72.172

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Keywords: Stillbirth, surveillance system, system attributes
Oral presentation

An evaluation of the still births surveillance system, Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia, January 2017

Rebekka Shikesho1, Kofi Nyarko1,&

1Namibia Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Windhoek, Namibia

&Corresponding author
Kofi Nyarko, Namibia Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Windhoek, Namibia

Abstract

Introduction: globally, an estimated 3.2 million stillbirths occurs annually of which 98% occur in low and middle-income countries. In Namibia, every 1000 deliveries conducted in Namibia, 15 are stillbirths. In most countries, stillbirths are not prioritized and fewer resources are mobilized to curb them in relation to neonatal and maternal deaths. We evaluated the still birth surveillance system to describe operation of the system, and assess its attributes to determine whether the system is meeting the objectives.

Methods: a retrospective descriptive study was conducted. We used the updated CDC guidelines for evaluating a public health surveillance system. A detailed checklist was developed and used to interview key stakeholders to collect information about the system and its attributes. We reviewed the DHIS2 data, incident report forms and maternity patient files.

Results: the surveillance system provides information on stillbirth cases. Cases are reported from health facilities to national level, whilst feedback goes both ways. Standardized forms are used for data collection. The files are not stored in lockable cabinets. Completeness was 77%. The name and signature of the person completing the form plus the date of completion were not filled. Data validity was assessed at 95%, which is commendable. The system is simple and flexible as it is able to adapt to new changes. The surveillance system is also sensitive and PPV at 98%. The system is representative of childbearing age women. Timeliness was poor. The mean time is 45 days, the minimum, 8 days and maximum 90 days.

Conclusion: the surveillance system is correctly identifying cases. Staff training on data completeness and timeliness is recommended. Web based reporting may also improve data quality. Lockable cabinets for storage are encouraged.