Associated Factors of Neonatal Death at the Yaounde Central Hospital


  • Francis B. Kengne Society of Gynaecologists & Obstetricians of Cameroon, Doctor’s house Nkol-Eton, Yaounde 798, Cameroon, Service of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Yaounde Central Hospital Messa, Yaounde 47, Cameroon
  • Olga Y. Bassong Mankollo Society of Gynaecologists & Obstetricians of Cameroon, Doctor’s house Nkol-Eton, Yaounde 798, Cameroon
  • Therese M. Mbezele Mekongo Catholic University of Central Africa, School of Health Sciences Messa, Yaounde 1110, Cameroon
  • Michele C. Kuisseu Catholic University of Central Africa, School of Health Sciences Messa, Yaounde 1110, Cameroon
  • Junior Alapa Nkwate Chefor Catholic University of Central Africa, School of Health Sciences Messa, Yaounde 1110, Cameroon
  • Annette Ndjambou Catholic University of Central Africa, School of Health Sciences Messa, Yaounde 1110, Cameroon
  • Brondon N. Vouofo Gapgueu Department of General Medicine, NGOZI University, Bujumbura 137, Burundi
  • Philemon Nsem Arrey Service of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Yaounde Central Hospital Messa, Yaounde 47, Cameroon


associated factors, neonatal death, Cameroon


Purpose: This study was aimed at determining the associated factors of neonatal mortality amongst newborn babies at the Yaounde central hospital (YCH).

Problem: According to UNICEF (2020), 80% of all newborn deaths result from three preventable and treatable conditions: complications due to prematurity, intra-partum related deaths including birth asphyxia and neonatal infections. However, still 6,700 neonates, babies in their first 28 days of life, the neonatal period, are dying daily around the world. Virtually all (99%) newborn deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. It is especially in Africa and South Asia that the least progress in reducing neonatal deaths has been made [1]. Since 2004, neonatal mortality rate (NMR) in Cameroon only shows a slight insignificant drop and is missing its target for the 2030s sustainable development goal [2]. Most of neonates’ death causes get lost as we climb the health pyramid and they remain invisible at the national level. Meanwhile, there is a sudden raise of neonatal death rate since 2019 at the Yaounde Central Hospital.

Methods: We conducted a 1 to 5 matched case-controls study. Using a quota sampling followed by systematic sampling procedures and with the help of Cochran formula for a probabilistic sampling size calculation, a developed questionnaire was addressed to a sample population of 1,428 neonates (cases = 238, controls = 1,190) in the Yaounde central hospital.

Results: After adjustment, associated factors of neonatal death at the YCH were the absence of placental abnormality (AHR=0.235; P-value =0.016; 95%; CI= [0.072; 0.765]), placenta praevia grade 1 (AHR =1.237; P-value = 0.007; 95%; CI= [1.084; 1.679]), placenta praevia grade 3 (AHR =1.193; P-value = 0.01; 95%; CI= [1.055; 1.679]), placenta abruptio sher 0 (AHR =5.092; P-value = 0.015; 95%; CI= [1.378; 18.820]), placenta abruptio sher 3 (AHR =17.944; P-value = 0.016; CI= [1.728; 186.322]), caesarean delivery (AHR =1.777; P-value = 0.002; 95%; CI= [1.241; 2.545]), the absence of prematurity (AHR =0.376; P-value = 0.0; 95%; CI= [0.274; 0.514]), the odds of not being placed under oxygen (AHR =5.680; P-value = 0.0; 95%; CI= [3.898; 8.275]), and referral after delivery (AHR=11.966; P-value = 0.018; 95%; CI= [1.53; 93.597]).

Conclusion: From the results of our study, the raise of neonatal mortality at the Yaounde Central Hospital was explained at 73.6% by the type of placenta involved in pregnancy (8.3%), the mode of delivery (11.6%), the age of pregnancy at birth (prematurity, 20%), the obvious practice of putting a new-born under oxygen (26.8%), and the referral status of the new-born (6.9%). From this perspective, acting only on the three main preventable and treatable causes of neonatal death revealed by UNICEF (2020) [1], is not sufficient to cause a drop of NMR at the YCH. Particular attention should be paid on cases of pregnancy with placental abnormality and an extra effort should be made.

Significance: To reduce neonatal mortality when facing placental abnormality, pregnancy should be pushed to at least 37 weeks, late c-section intervention should be avoided and in case of complications, referral should be done before childbirth.


UNICEF, “Neonatal mortality,” UNICEF DATA, Sep. 2020. (accessed Sep. 13, 2021).

INS, Enquête démographique de santé (EDS-V) 2018. 2020. Accessed: Feb. 10, 2021. [Online]. Available:

WHO, “Newborns: improving survival and well-being,” Sep. 19, 2020. (accessed Sep. 11, 2021).

MINSANTE, Profil sanitaire analytique du Cameroun. 2016.

A. Adere, A. Mulu, and F. Temesgen, “Neonatal and Maternal Complications of Placenta Praevia and Its Risk Factors in Tikur Anbessa Specialized and Gandhi Memorial Hospitals: Unmatched Case-Control Study,” Journal of Pregnancy, Jan. 06, 2020. (accessed Feb. 15, 2021).

M. Tikkanen, “Placental abruption: Epidemiology, risk factors and consequences,” Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand., vol. 90, pp. 140–9, Feb. 2011, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0412.2010.01030.x.

Y. Mekonnen, B. Tensou, D. S. Telake, T. Degefie, and A. Bekele, “Neonatal mortality in Ethiopia: trends and determinants,” BMC Public Health, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 483, May 2013, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-483.

S. Glen, “Sample Size in Statistics (How to Find it): Excel, Cochran’s Formula, General Tips,” Statistics How To, 2021. (accessed Mar. 16, 2021).

R. Shah, B. Sharma, V. Khanal, U. K. Pandey, A. Vishwokarma, and D. K. Malla, “Factors associated with neonatal deaths in Chitwan district of Nepal,” BMC Res. Notes, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 818, Dec. 2015, doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1807-3.

G. V. Dessel, “La taille d’échantillon optimale,” CheckMarket, Feb. 2020. (accessed Nov. 07, 2021).

YCH, “Annual reports of the health information and hospitalization service of the Yaounde central hospital,” Jun. 2021.

N. A. Al-Sheyab, Y. S. Khader, K. K. Shattnawi, M. S. Alyahya, and A. Batieha, “Rate, Risk Factors, and Causes of Neonatal Deaths in Jordan: Analysis of Data From Jordan Stillbirth and Neonatal Surveillance System (JSANDS),” Front. Public Health, vol. 8, p. 595379, Oct. 2020, doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.595379.

H. M. Salihu, Q. Li, D. J. Rouse, and G. R. Alexander, “Placenta previa: neonatal death after live births in the United States,” Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., vol. 188, no. 5, pp. 1305–1309, May 2003, doi: 10.1067/mob.2003.303.

K. L. Downes, E. D. Shenassa, and K. L. Grantz, “Neonatal Outcomes Associated With Placental Abruption,” Am. J. Epidemiol., vol. 186, no. 12, pp. 1319–1328, Dec. 2017, doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx202.

N. Bakalar, “Voluntary C-Sections Result in More Baby Deaths,” The New York Times, Sep. 05, 2006. Accessed: Oct. 12, 2021. [Online]. Available:

A. R. Varela et al., “Fetal, neonatal, and post-neonatal mortality in the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort and associated factors,” Cad. Saúde Pública, vol. 35, Aug. 2019, doi: 10.1590/0102-311X00072918.

A. W. Tadesse, Y. M. Negussie, and S. B. Aychiluhm, “Neonatal mortality and its associated factors among neonates admitted at public hospitals, pastoral region, Ethiopia: A health facility based study,” PLOS ONE, vol. 16, no. 3, p. e0242481, Mar. 2021, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242481.

A. Chiabi, E. Mah, M.-J. Ntsama Essomba, S. Nguefack, E. Mbonda, and P.-F. Tchokoteu, “[Factors associated with the survival of very low birth weight neonates at the Yaounde gynaeco-obstetric and pediatric hospital, Cameroon].,” Arch. Pediatr. Organe Off. Soc. Francaise Pediatr., vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 142–146, Feb. 2014, doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2013.11.017.

S. A. Vahanian, J. A. Lavery, C. V. Ananth, and A. Vintzileos, “Placental implantation abnormalities and risk of preterm delivery: a systematic review and metaanalysis,” Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., vol. 213, no. 4, pp. S78–S90, Oct. 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.05.058.

F. B. Hadgu, L. G. Gebretsadik, H. G. Mihretu, and A. H. Berhe, “Prevalence and Factors Associated with Neonatal Mortality at Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, Northern Ethiopia. A Cross-Sectional Study,” Pediatr. Health Med. Ther., vol. 11, pp. 29–37, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.2147/PHMT.S235591.

S. M. Dhaded et al., “Neonatal deaths in rural Karnataka, India 2014–2018: a prospective population-based observational study in a low-resource setting,” Reprod. Health, vol. 17, no. 2, p. 161, Nov. 2020, doi: 10.1186/s12978-020-01014-6.

J. C. Lona Reyes, R. O. Pérez Ramírez, L. Llamas Ramos, E. A. Benítez Vázquez, and V. R. Patiño, “Neonatal mortality and associated factors in newborn infants admitted to a Neonatal Care Unit,” Arch. Argent. Pediatr., vol. 116, no. 1, Feb. 2018, doi: 10.5546/aap.2018.eng.42.

A. Weddih et al., “Prevalence and factors associated with neonatal mortality among neonates hospitalized at the National Hospital Nouakchott, Mauritania,” Pan Afr. Med. J., vol. 34, no. 152, Art. no. 152, Nov. 2019, doi: 10.11604/pamj.2019.34.152.14683.

F. Yego, C. D’Este, J. Byles, P. Nyongesa, and J. S. Williams, “A case-control study of risk factors for fetal and early neonatal deaths in a tertiary hospital in Kenya,” BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 389, Nov. 2014, doi: 10.1186/s12884-014-0389-8.

T. Bennett, “Marital status and infant health outcomes,” Soc. Sci. Med. 1982, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 1179–1187, Nov. 1992, doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(92)90230-n.

T. Laerdal et al., “A Tale of Two Births: One Minute Can Mean a Lifetime,” Laerdal Medical, Jan. 11, 2018. (accessed Oct. 26, 2021).




How to Cite

Francis B. Kengne, Olga Y. Bassong Mankollo, Therese M. Mbezele Mekongo, Michele C. Kuisseu, Junior Alapa Nkwate Chefor, Annette Ndjambou, Brondon N. Vouofo Gapgueu, & Philemon Nsem Arrey. (2022). Associated Factors of Neonatal Death at the Yaounde Central Hospital. International Journal of Formal Sciences: Current and Future Research Trends, 15(1), 174–194. Retrieved from




Most read articles by the same author(s)