DAILY MONITOR UGANDA: In 2015, it was estimated that nearly 10 out of every 100 Ugandan children born alive do not live beyond their fifth birthday and in total, 39,000 new-borns die every … Read more about Launch of BCG study in Uganda
Objective To examine gender differences in infant survival on the first day of life, in the first week of life, and in the neonatal and post-neonatal periods by socio-demographic and economic variables.
Design Secondary data analysis was performed on data from a cluster randomised trial on the effect of implementation of the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness programme, India.
Settings The study setting was Palwal and Faridabad, districts of Haryana, a state in North India.
Measures Multiple logistic regression models taking the cluster design into account were used to estimate gender differences in mortality in different periods of infancy.
Results A total of 60 480 infants were included in these analyses. Of 4060 infant deaths, 2054 were female (7.2% of all females born) and 2006 were male (6.3% of all males born). The death rate was significantly higher in females in the post-neonatal period but not during the neonatal period. The odds of death at 29–180 days and at 181–365 days were 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 to 1.6) and 1.7 (95% CI: 1.4 to 2.0) higher in females compared with males, respectively. This increase was seen across all socio-demographic and economic strata.
Conclusion Gender differences during the post-neonatal period are a major threat to the survival and health of female infants in India. Programmes need to identify measures that can specifically reduce female mortality.
BACKGROUND: Yearly, nearly all the estimated worldwide 2.7 million neonatal deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Infections, including those affecting the umbilical cord (omphalitis), are a significant factor in approximately a third of these deaths. In fact, the odds of all-cause mortality are 46% higher among neonates with omphalitis than in those without. Five large randomized controlled trials in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have examined the effect of multiple cord stump applications with 4% chlorhexidine (CHX) for at least 7 days on the risk of omphalitis and neonatal death. These studies, all community-based, show that multiple CHX applications reduced the risk of omphalitis. Of these trials, only one study from South Asia (the Bangladeshi study) and none from Africa examined the effect of a single application of CHX as soon as possible after birth. In this Bangladeshi trial, CHX led to a reduction in the risk of mild-moderate omphalitis and neonatal death. It is important, in an African setting, to explore the effect of a single application among health-facility births. A single application is programmatically much simpler to implement than daily applications for 7 days. Therefore, our study compares umbilical cord cleansing with a single application of 4% CHX at birth with dry cord care among Ugandan babies born in health facilities, on the risk of omphalitis and severe neonatal illness.
METHODS: The CHX study is a facility-based, individually randomized controlled trial that will be conducted among 4760 newborns in Uganda. The primary outcomes are severe illness and omphalitis during the neonatal period. Analysis will be by intention-to-treat.
DISCUSSION: This study will provide novel evidence, from a Sub-Saharan African setting, of the effect of umbilical cord cleansing with a single application of 4% CHX at birth and identify modifiable risk factors for omphalitis.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT02606565. Registered on 12 November 2015.
KEYWORDS: Chlorhexidine; Neonatal; Newborn; Omphalitis; Severe illness; Trial
BACKGROUND: An estimated 2.7 of the 5.9 million deaths in children under 5 years of age occur in the neonatal period. Severe infections contribute to almost a quarter of these deaths. Mortality due to severe infections in developing country settings is substantial despite antibiotic therapy. Effective interventions that can be added to standard therapy for severe infections are required to reduce case fatality.METHODS/DESIGN:This is a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled parallel group superiority trial to investigate the effect of zinc administered orally as an adjunct to standard therapy to infants aged 3 days up to 2 months (59 days) hospitalized with clinical severe infection, that will be undertaken in seven hospitals in Delhi, India and Kathmandu, Nepal. In a 1:1 ratio, we will randomly assign young infants to receive 10 mg of elemental zinc or placebo orally in addition to the standard therapy for a total of 14 days. The primary outcomes hospital case fatality, which is death due to any cause and at any time after enrolment while hospitalized for the illness episode, and extended case fatality, which encompasses the period until 12 weeks after enrolment.
DISCUSSION: A previous study showed a beneficial effect of zinc in reducing the risk of treatment failure, as well as a non-significant effect on case fatality. This study was not powered to detect an effect on case fatality, which this current study is. If the results are consistent with this earlier trial, we would have provided strong evidence for recommending zinc as an adjunct to standard therapy for clinical severe infection in young infants.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Universal Trial Number: U1111-1187-6479, Clinical Trials Registry - India: CTRI/2017/02/007966 : Registered on February 27, 2017.
KEYWORDS: India; Infants; Neonate; Nepal; Sepsis; Severe infection; Zinc