Article Abstract

Premature death of children aged 2 months to 5 years: the case of the Mother and Child Center of the Chantal Biya Foundation, Yaounde, Cameroon

Authors: David Chelo, Félicitée Nguefack, Hubert D. Mbassi Awa, Roger Dongmo, Josiane Nkwonkam Mafotso, Suzanne Ngo Um, Calson Ambomatei, Paul O. Koki Ndombo


Background: In hospital premature deaths of children less than 5 years of age admitted for different reasons still remains very high in our context warranting study in order to reverse the tendency (using appropriate means). Our study was aimed at describing and analyzing cases of those children aged from 2 months to 5 years who died within the first 48 hours of their admission at the Mother and Child Center of the Chantal Biya Foundation (MCC/CBF).
Methods: It was a retrospective descriptive study. Data were extracted from the clinical records of the patients admitted from 2008 to 2012. Cases of accidental trauma were excluded from the study. Level of statistical significance was set at P<0.05. The approval of the ethical committee of the Université des Montagnes was also obtained.
Results: During the period of our study, out of the 14,200 patients aged 2 months and 5 years who were hospitalized 522 premature deaths were registered. This gives an incidence of 4.9%, representing 74.3% of all hospitalized deaths in this age group. Considering the fact that some of the files had very little information, only 373 files were studied. The sex ratio was 1.2. More astonishing was that a majority of the deaths occurred between midnight and 8 am. The most frequent registered cases were patients with severe malaria (42.6%), severe sepsis (20.6%), and acute lower respiratory tract infections (RTI) (16.1%) cases. One third of the patients had a poor nutritional status.
Conclusions: The reinforcement of preventive measures and programs targeting the health of children such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Diseases (IMCD) would be a major priority in proffering a solution to this phenomenon.