Kabadege, Melene, Class of 2007 – (Rwanda)

Practicum Summary:

Neonatal Mortality Rates: Causes and Strategies to reduce rates at Kibogora Hospital Zone in Rwanda

In her research practicum, Kabadege calculates the newborn mortality rates in the Kibogora Hospital Zone in Rwanda, analyzes the causes of new birth mortality, and discusses the best strategies for reducing mortality rates through an analysis of local data. In order to calculate mortality rates and discern the causes of neonatal death, Kabadege used data from a community-based health information system through verbal autopsies with mothers who had experienced a newborn death, in-depth interviews with key informants in the Rwandan health care system, and focus group discussions with local care groups. Inevitably, Kabadege determines that the underlying factors contributing to newborn mortality were a lack of antenatal care and access to a healthcare facility, premature births, complications in delivery, and delay in seeking care of newborns. Suggested strategies to prevent newborn mortality include promoting antenatal care and facility deliveries, improving newborn care, promoting subscription to health insurance plans, and promoting family planning. In addition, adopting strategies used by the Child Survival Program such as community mobilization, targeting community leaders and families, and seeking out community developing committees, could greatly reduce the rate of newborn mortalities.