Incidence of Low Birth Weight and Its Associated Factors in Jimma University Specialized Hospital
Background: Low birth weight newborns are at a significantly higher risk of morbidity and mortality contributing a lot to the higher perinatal, neonatal, infant and childhood morbidity and mortality rates specially in the developing countries like Ethiopia. They are also at a higher risk of adulthood illnesses once they survive the early complications. Even if many studies have been done on low birth weight, its associated factors and the short as well as long term outcomes of low-birth-weight infants in the developed world, little has been done in developing countries like Ethiopia where the burden of the problem is huge. In Ethiopia, few studies have been done on the incidence of low birth weight and associated factors but most of these studies didn’t consider many of the factors thought to be associated with low birth weight. Objectives: To determine the incidence of low birth weight and its associated factors in Jimma University Specialized Hospital.
Methods and materials: A cross sectional study was conducted on 931 newborns who were born in Jimma University Specialized Hospital from March 1 to May 30, 2014 GC. Data were collected by using
structured questionnaire. Maternal and neonatal anthropometric measurements were done by using
standard beam balance, tape meter and measuring board. Consecutive sampling technique was used to include all eligible newborns and their mothers until the required sample size is obtained. p value of <0.05 was used to consider significance.
Results: The mean ( ± SD) of birth weights were 3017 ± 612gm. The incidence of low birth weight (birth
weight <2500) was 24.4%. The factors found to be associated with low birth weight in this study are female gender, maternal urinary tract infections, preterm delivery, maternal antepartal hemorrhage, and multiple gestations.
Conclusion and recommendations: The incidence of low birth weight is found to be high in this study. An attempt to increase the rate of ANC attendance and identifying the medical illnesses as well as obstetric complications and addressing them timely is recommended so that the rate and complications of low birth weight could be minimized.