Magnitude of prematurity in the countries of the Great Maghreb



Hassoune S, Tsoumbou Bakana G, Boussouf N, Nani S.


Tunis Med. 2018 Oct-Nov;96(10-11):628-635.


BACKGROUND: Prematurity is the leading cause of death in neonates, accounting for 75% of neonatal mortality, and the second leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age. OBJECTIVE: To study the extent of prematurity in the Great Maghreb, concerning its various aspects: frequency, risk factors and complications. METHOD: We conducted a systematic review of the literature by searching for all data from the Greater Maghreb related to prematurity published between 2000 and 2018. The search strategy relied on the Medline and Google Scholar databases. Prematurity is defined as any birth occurring at a gestational age less than 37 weeks of amenorrhea. RESULTS: In the Maghreb, the prevalence of prematurity ranged from 6.7% to 15.4%. The main risk factors were infections and chronic maternal conditions, extreme maternal ages and adverse socio-economic conditions. The mortality rate among premature infants ranged from 28% to 45%. Short-term complications were dominated by respiratory and metabolic disorders and infections. CONCLUSION: In view of the serious complications and high mortality caused by prematurity, prevention strategies must be put in place. These should be based on the development of pregnancy surveillance programs, the fight against precariousness and the upgrading of neonatal care structures.

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