Madagascar grapples with a notably high incidence of Neonatal Bacterial Infections (NBIs), estimated at a staggering 196.3 potential cases per 1,000 live births. This alarming statistic stands nearly twice as high as the incidence rates observed in Cambodia and Senegal.
A comprehensive community-based cohort study, conducted over the period of 2018 to 2021 in Madagascar, has shed light on key risk factors intricately linked to the occurrence of NBIs:
- Low Birth Weight
- Maternal Chorioamnionitis
- Prolonged Rupture of Membranes
- Home Delivery
- Lack of Antenatal Care
- Rural Residence
Moreover, this study pinpointed that NBIs tend to manifest predominantly within the first week of a neonate’s life, with a substantial 60.4% of cases emerging during this critical period.
The pathogens responsible for NBIs in neonates were primarily identified as follows:
- Klebsiella spp. (24.4%)
- Escherichia coli (22.2%)
- Staphylococcus spp. (26.7%)
The elevated incidence of NBIs in Madagascar underscores a pressing public health concern. Nonetheless, there exists a repertoire of interventions poised to mitigate the risk of NBIs, including:
- Advocating for Antenatal Care and Skilled Birth Attendance
- Administering Antibiotics to Pregnant Women with Chorioamnionitis
- Immunizing Pregnant Women Against Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
- Promoting Early Initiation of Breastfeeding
- Enhancing Hygiene and Sanitation Standards
Through the effective implementation of these interventions, Madagascar holds the potential to make substantial strides in curtailing the incidence of NBIs and fostering the overall well-being of its newborns.