Factors associated with stillbirths during intrapartum care at the Windhoek central hospital and intermediate hospital Katutura, Khomas region, Namibia

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University of Namibia
Intrapartum stillbirths account for 1.3 million deaths worldwide, which is half of all stillbirths occurring during labour and delivery. NSA (2020), states that the current stillbirths’ rate in Namibia is not calculated due to the limitations of data. The present study investigated factors associated with stillbirths during intrapartum care at the Windhoek Central Hospital and Intermediate Hospital Katutura, Khomas region, Namibia. A quantitative, descriptive and retrospective study was used on a total population of 186 patients’ records of babies who died during labour and delivery. The sample and the population were the same (186 patients’ records). Data were collected by means of a structured checklist, analysed with SPSS 27, and presented as descriptive statistics in the form of frequency distributions of study variables. Furthermore, bivariate analyses in the form of Pearson Chi-Square test of association were obtained to determine whether there exists a significant association between variables. The study concluded that there was no association between the sociodemographic and obstetric factors, (mother’s place of residence, mode of baby delivery, presentation of a baby, mother’s age and gestational age) with stillbirths during intrapartum care. The study also found that there was a significant association between a fetal factor (placenta abruptio) and intrapartum stillbirths. The study also concluded that there was a substantial association between the modifiable factor (delay to provide care once the mother arrived at the health facility) with intrapartum stillbirth. The study also concluded that intrapartum stillbirths accounted for one third (30%) of the overall stillbirths in the study settings. Recommendations for further research to study the quality of intrapartum care given to women would provide a better indicator of the quality of maternal and new-born health services. With one-third of stillbirths occurring intrapartum, perinatal death evaluations (audits) should be encouraged and strengthened at the facility level. Standards for ANC and intrapartum care services should be strengthened to improve labour monitoring and quality care.
A research thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Nursing Science
Factors, Intrapartum care, Stillbirth