Severe acute malnutrition remains one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study was to investigate morbidity and mortality trends and factors associated with mortality of under-five children admitted and managed for severe acute malnutrition in NEMMH.
Four years retrospective cohort study was conducted on 500 under-five children admitted with the diagnosis of severe acute malnutrition. The study population was all under- five children admitted to the inpatient nutrition unit between 2012 and 2015. Data was entered using Epi-Data version 3.1 and exported to SPSS version 16 for analysis. A Kaplan- Meier curve was also used to estimate survival probability of different types of severe acute malnutrition. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to predict the risk of death among predictor while adjusting for other variables. A P-value less than 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
A total of 500 children were enrolled into the study. Kwashiorkor was the most frequently recorded morbidity accounting for 43.0%. Pneumonia was seen the commonest form of comorbid disease. It was the most common co-morbidity across all morbidity groups. (27.6% in kwashiorkor, 37.5% in marasmus and 37.7% in marasmic-kwashiorkor). The average length of stay in the hospital was 11 days.
Children with new admission were 86% less likely to die than repeated admission given that the children were admitted to paediatric ward (HR: 0.14, 95% CI: (0.06, 0.35). Kaplan Meier survival curves also showed children with marasmus and those with repeated admission had reduced survival rates. The overall mortality rate was 7%. The mortality trends vary irregularly in each year but morbidity trend increased with admission from 2014 to 2015.
Mortality trends of SAM vary irregularly across the years but morbidity trends increased with admission from 2014 to 2015. An admission type was significantly associated with mortality. Morbidity and co-morbid diseases did not show significant effect on mortality of the children. Health extension workers and stakeholders should give due concern on promotion of proper nutrition in a community.