How fast did newborns die in Nigeria from 2009-2013: a time-to-death analysis using Verbal /Social Autopsy data

Alain K. Koffi, Jamie Perin, Henry D. Kalter, Joseph Monehin, Adeyinka Adewemimo, Robert E. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The slow decline in neonatal mortality as compared to post-neonatal mortality in Nigeria calls for attention and efforts to reverse this trend. This paper examines how socioeconomic, cultural, behavioral, and contextual factors interact to influence survival time among deceased newborns in Nigeria. Methods: Using the neonatal deaths data from the 2014 Nigeria Verbal/ Social Autopsy survey, we examined the temporal distribution of overall and cause-specific mortality of a sample of 723 neonatal deaths. We fitted an extended Cox regression model that also allowed a time-dependent set of risk factors on time-to-neonatal death from all causes, and then separately, from birth injury/birth asphyxia (BIBA) and neonatal infections, while adjusting for possible confounding variables. Results: Approximately 26% of all neonatal deaths occurred during the first day, 52.8% during the first three days, and 73.9% during the first week of life. Almost all deaths (94.4%) due to BIBA and about 64% from neonatal infections occurred in the first week of life. The expected all-cause mortality hazard was 6.23 times higher on any particular illness day for the deceased newborns who had a severe illness at onset compared to those who did not. While the all-cause mortality hazard ratio of poor vs wealthier households was 0.77 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.648-0.922), the BIBA mortality hazard ratio of households with no electricity was 1.79 times higher compared to households with electricity (95% CI = 1.180-2.715). Conclusions: The findings suggest the need for continued improvement of the coverage and quality of maternal and neonatal health interventions at birth and in the immediate postnatal period. They may also require confirmation in real-world cohorts with detailed, time-varying information on neonatal mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20501
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of global health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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