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Exploring factors influencing patient mortality and loss to follow-up in two paediatric hospital wards in Zamfara, North-West Nigeria, 2016-2018

Augusto, Orvalho, Maisa, Anna, Lawal, Abdulhakeem Mohammed, Islam, Tarikul, Nwankwo, Chijioke, Oluyide, Bukola, Fotso, Adolphe, Roggeveen, Harriet, van der Kam, Saskia, Ariti, Cono ORCID:, Bil, Karla and Lenglet, Annick 2021. Exploring factors influencing patient mortality and loss to follow-up in two paediatric hospital wards in Zamfara, North-West Nigeria, 2016-2018. PLoS ONE 16 (12) , e0262073. 10.1371/journal.pone.0262073

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Introduction Child mortality has been linked to infectious diseases, malnutrition and lack of access to essential health services. We investigated possible predictors for death and patients lost to follow up (LTFU) for paediatric patients at the inpatient department (IPD) and inpatient therapeutic feeding centre (ITFC) of the Anka General Hospital (AGH), Zamfara State, Nigeria, to inform best practices at the hospital. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort review study using routinely collected data of all patient admissions to the IPD and ITFC with known hospital exit status between 2016 and 2018. Unadjusted and adjusted rate ratios (aRR) and respective 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using Poisson regression to estimate the association between the exposure variables and mortality as well as LTFU. Results The mortality rate in IPD was 22% lower in 2018 compared to 2016 (aRR 0.78; 95% CI 0.66–0.93) and 70% lower for patients coming from lead-affected villages compared to patients from other villages (aRR 0.30; 95% CI 0.19–0.48). The mortality rate for ITFC patients was 41% higher during rainy season (aRR 1.41; 95% CI 1.2–1.6). LTFU rates in ITFC increased in 2017 and 2018 when compared to 2016 (aRR 1.6; 95% CI 1.2–2.0 and aRR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1–1.8) and patients in ITFC had 2.5 times higher LTFU rates when coming from a lead-affected village. Conclusions Our data contributes clearer understanding of the situation in the paediatric wards in AGH in Nigeria, but identifying specific predictors for the multifaceted nature of mortality and LTFU is challenging. Mortality in paediatric patients in IPD of AGH improved during the study period, which is likely linked to better awareness of the hospital, but still remains high. Access to healthcare due to seasonal restrictions contributes to mortalities due to late presentation. Increased awareness of and easier access to healthcare, such as for patients living in lead-affected villages, which are still benefiting from an MSF lead poisoning intervention, decreases mortalities, but increases LTFU. We recommend targeted case audits and qualitative studies to better understand the role of health-seeking behaviour, and social and traditional factors in the use of formal healthcare in this part of Nigeria and potentially similar settings in other countries.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 December 2021
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 22:01

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