Neonatal mortality is a serious problem in low-resource countries; indeed, 99% of newborn deaths occur in such settings. In 2014 Doctors with Africa CUAMM launched a multi-level project in Mozambique’s Beira Central Hospital (BCH) to support both the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and its obstetric ward. The three-pronged approach taken entailed refurbishing and renovating infrastructure, providing equipment, and improving clinical protocols.
The project involved 4,276 infants, 2,118 of whom were born in 2013, prior to its launch (baseline), and 2,158 of whom were born afterwards (endline). After a year of activities in the hospital, data showed that the infant mortality rate had fallen from 26% to 18%. This drop can be attributed primarily to a reduction in the number of deaths from asphyxia, sepsis and preterm birth, problems that hospital staff learned to handle more effectively through special training. Use of the Kangaroo Mother Care method also played an important role in improving the conditions of preterm infants.