Home births ‘biggest risk factor for neonatal deaths in Africa’

Giving birth at home is the most significant risk factor for neonatal deaths in large parts of Africa, according to a study by Michigan State University, US.

Africa continues to see the highest neonatal mortality rates in the world.

The researchers found that in both East and West Africa, many babies are delivered without a doctor or other healthcare professional. They added that unprotected water sources and older mothers giving birth are also part of the problem as to why home births are so dangerous.

These findings are intended to provide guidance toward the United Nations' goal of reducing deaths among children under five. Worldwide, child mortality rates decreased by 53 per cent between 1990 and 2015, according to the UN.

Africa, however, had the smallest reductions in child mortality rates during that 25-year period and still has the highest neonatal mortality rate of 28 deaths per 1,000 live births. Nearly half of deaths in those aged under five occur during the first 30 days of life.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801836514-ADNFCR