Pattern of childhood morbidities and outcome of childhood admissions in a Nigerian public secondary healthcare facility
Background: Patterns of morbidity and mortality in hospital populations are indicative of community health needs and can be useful in planning improved medical services.
Objectives: To determine the morbidity, mortality and outcome patterns, and the average duration of hospital stay of admitted children in the public secondary healthcare facility.
Methods: Available hospital records of children aged one month to 15years, admitted during a one year period (October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2011) were reviewed for relevant data such as age, gender, final diagnosis, outcomes and dates of admissions and discharges.
Results: Of the 1,266 records reviewed, 57.6% children were males, 42.4% females (Z= -10.9458; p=0.0001) and 82.5% were aged under-five years. Infections accounted for 81.6% of the morbidities, with malaria (39.2%), gastroenteritis (15.2%), pneumonia (10.9%), severe anaemia (4.2%) and septicaemia (3.0%) being the top five conditions. The duration of admission ranged from less than 24hours to 30 days, with a mean of 3.2 (2.8) days.
Nine hundred and ninety-eight (78.8%) children were discharged while 64 (5.1%) died; 85.9% of the deaths occurred among under-five children. Thirty-four (6.3%) out of 537 females and 30 (4.1%) out 729 males died (Z= 7.7374; p= 0.0001). The top three causes of mortality included malaria 26.6%, septicaemia 12.5% and pneumonia 10.9%. Fifty out of 59 deaths (84.7%) occurred within 72 hours and 7 (11.9%) in<24hours of admission.
Conclusions: Male children were more vulnerable to diseases while mortality was significantly higher among females. Infections dominated the causes of childhood morbidity and mortality in the public secondary healthcare facility, with under-five children bearing the brunt.
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