Perinatal outcome at Benghazi and implications for perinatal care in developing countries.

Original article


Kishan J, Soni AL, Elzouki AY, Mir NA, Magoub MR.

Indian J Pediatr. 1988 Jul-Aug;55(4):611-5.


Using 1984 perinatal mortality rates as indicators of the level of maternal and newborn health care service quality and efficiency, Libya’s high perinatal loss is compared to perinatal losses of 9 other developing countries. Timely antenatal care is identified as the essential component needed to reduce perinatal loss. Libyan perinatal, still birth, and early neonatal death rates were 26.3, 11.4, and 14.9/100, respectively. Perinatal death rates of other countries in the study ranged from 18.8 to 100/thousand. The major causes of still births in Libya included antepartum hemorrhage, cord accidents, maternal diabetes mellitus, and fetal malformations. The effect of timely obstetric care in reducing still birth rates (SBR) is evidenced by comparing SBRs of 16.8 to 63.8 in pregnant women receiving or not receiving minimal antenatal care at a peripheral health center, respectively. The clinical causes of early neonatal death were major congenital malformation (24.9%), hyaline membrane disease and aspiration syndrome (26.1%), birth asphyxia and injury (17.9%), very low birth weight (17.2%), and sepsis/meningitis (13.1%). High general fertility rates of developing countries leads to increased proportions of women under 20 and over 35 years of age bearing children. These women are prone to bearing offspring comparatively more vulnerable to early neonatal death. Consanguineous marriages leading to congenital malformation, and lack of maternal immunization with tetanus toxoid are also cited as factors contributing to high perinatal mortality. In closing, the authors call for future community-based studies, and recognize socioeconomic level as a main determinant in obtaining obstetric care.

Keywords: Perinatal outcome at Benghazi and implications for perinatal care in developing countries.