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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Morbidity and mortality of childhood illnesses at the emergency pediatric unit of a tertiary hospital, north-eastern Nigeria

1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Maiduguri College of Medical Sciences, Azare, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Azare, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Yauba Mohammad Sa'ad
Department of Paediatrics, University of Maiduguri College of Medical Sciences, PMB - 1069, Maiduguri, Borno
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DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.152150

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Background: Under-five morbidity and mortality from childhood preventable diseases are still very high in most of the developing countries, especially Nigeria. We describe the morbidity and mortality of childhood illnesses at the Emergency Pediatric Unit (EPU) of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of Emergency Pediatric Unit admissions over a 1-year period. Epi-info statistical software was used for data analysis. Results: A total of 1,161 patients, aged 1 month to 13 years with a mean age (±1 SD) of 9.8 ± 2.6 years were admitted into EPU during the period. There were 576 (49.6%) males and 585 (50.4%) females and 1,034 (89.1%) patients were children under 5 years of age. The major causes of admission were malaria (44.8%). There were 103 (8.9%) discharges, 886 (76.3%) transfers to pediatric wards, 38 (3.3%) referrals to other hospitals, and 11 (0.9%) discharges against medical advice. There were 123 (10.6%) deaths during the period of the study with 107 (87.0%) of the deceased being children ≤5 years of age. Severe malaria 61 (49.6%) was the major cause of deaths in the unit, followed by Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and pneumonia occurring in each of 10 (8.1%) patients. Conclusion: Malaria, PEM, and pneumonia remained the major causes of morbidity and mortality, especially among the under-five children.

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