Prevalence and factors associated with low birth weight in Lubaga Hospital.
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Introduction: Progress in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number 4 which aims at reduction of child mortality has been noted to be slow nationally, regionally and globally. Neonatal mortality contributes a big proportion to child mortality. Low birth weight (LBW) is one of the factors that play a major role in the causation of neonatal mortality, and as such is a proxy that can be used in the assessment of how far countries have gone in achieving MDG number 4. LBW can occur due to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) or premature delivery. Information on prevalence of LBW and factors associated with it in Uganda is minimal. Study objective: To determine prevalence of and factors associated with LBW in the labour ward of Lubaga hospital. Study design: Cross sectional study. Study population: Babies born to women admitted in the labour ward of Lubaga hospital during the study period. Study site: The study was conducted in the Maternity ward of Lubaga Hospital. Main outcome measure: Birth weight of the newborn. Data management and data analysis: Data collection was done through questionnaire administration. Data was entered into Epi-data, and subsequently analyzed using SPSS and STATA 12 computer software. The prevalence of babies born with LBW was determined as a percentage of the total number of babies recruited. Characteristics of mothers who delivered LBW babies were compared with those who delivered normal birth weight babies using chi-square tests for categorical data and student’s t-test for continuous data. Univariable and then multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine factors independently associated with LBW. Results: 713 babies were recruited; the prevalence of LBW was 8.3%. Predictors of LBW were multiple pregnancy (OR= 22.16, 95% CI= 7.60-64.61), prematurity i.e. gestational age less than 37weeks (OR= 15.63, 95% CI= 7.40-33.03), presence of an obvious physical abnormality of the newborn (OR= 36.19, 95% CI= 2.10-623.32), and smoking (OR= 34.29, 95% CI= 1.89-622.88). Conclusion: The prevalence of LBW at Lubaga Hospital is lower than the national prevalence, and the predictors of LBW include multiple pregnancy, preterm delivery/prematurity, presence of an obvious physical abnormality of the newborn, and smoking by the pregnant woman. Recommendations: Care for women with multiple pregnancy should be emphasized through health education at the health center level and also at community and family level, as well as prevention of preterm delivery by addressing its causative or predisposing factors. Bigger/community studies should be conducted in order to obtain more information on the factors associated with LBW.