Admission and mortality at the main neonatal intensive care unit in Guinea-Bissau

Anne Sofie Pinstrup Joergensen, Morten Bjerregaard-Andersen*, Sofie Biering-Sørensen, Stine Byberg, Luis Camala, Cesario Martins, Amabelia Rodrigues, Peter Aaby, Christine Stabell Benn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: The authors assessed the risk of admission and mortality at the main neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the National Hospital Simão Mendes (NHSM) in Guinea-Bissau.

Methods: The Bandim Health Project (BHP) maintains a health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) in the capital Bissau, including at the NHSM. Data from January 2008 to August 2013 was used to assess NICU incubator admissions and mortality.

Results: The overall NICU admission rate was 4.8% (1575/33,005); the lowest rate in 2012 (4.0% (214/5293)) and the highest rate in 2009 (6.0% (369/6134)). The overall mortality among admitted children was 19.6% (289/1476), declining from 26.7% (68/255) in 2008 to 13.0% (16/123) in 2013. Birth weight <1500 g (OR=353, (95% CI: 244-510) compared with normal birth weight 2500 g-4000 g), Apgar score≤3 (OR=13.2 (9.72-18.0) compared with Apgar score 7-10) and single motherhood (OR=1.44 (1.20-1.74)) were associated with NICU admission. Low Apgar score was a risk factor for NICU mortality (OR=6.21 (2.05-18.81)) and females (OR=0.55 (0.38-0.79) had a lower mortality than males.

Conclusion: Approximately 5% of the hospital-born children were admitted to an incubator and among those almost 20% died, although mortality did decline. Male sex, very low birth weight and low Apgar score were strongly associated with NICU admissions and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)335-341
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jul 2018



  • Africa
  • Incubator
  • Intensive care
  • Low-income setting
  • Neonatal mortality

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