Communicable Diseases’ Morbidity and Mortality in Pediatrics Hospitals, Baghdad, Iraq, 2015

  • Public health surveillance
  • Maternal and child health
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Annually, communicable diseases (CDs) kill 14 million individuals (46% of all deaths), mainly in developing countries. Around 90% of these deaths are attributed to acute diarrheal and respiratory infections of children, tuberculosis, malaria, and measles. According to GBD, acute diarrheal and respiratory infections of children are responsible for 15% of YLL in Iraq. The objective of this study was to determine the leading CDs of hospital admission and death among children aged ≤15 years in Baghdad, Iraq, 2015.

This is a retrospective review of all patients’ records, admission registries and death certificates in all pediatrics hospitals in Baghdad, 2015. ICD-10 is used in these hospitals for coding final diagnoses. Case fatality rate (CFR) and cause specific mortality rate for ≤15years population were calculated.

The total number of admitted children during 2015 was 70,013; 22,821 (33%) due to CDs. Male to female ratio was 1.5:1 and the most affected age group was <1 year (65%). Total deaths were 3,081; 422 (13.7%) attributed to CDs. Male: female ratio was 1.1:1 and the most affected age group was <1year (63%). The commonest causes of admission were: lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) (56%), gastroenteritis (33%), meningitis (2.8%), pyrexia of unknown origin (1.9%) and measles (1.5%). The most important causes of death were: LRTI (70%), meningitis (10%), encephalitis (8%), gastroenteritis (6%) and kala azar (2.13%). The highest CFR were for: encephalitis (19.3%), kala azar (8.6%), meningitis (6.8%), tuberculosis (5.6%), and viral hepatitis (4.5%). CDs specific mortality rate per 100,000 ≤15years was 11.2 and the highest rates were for: LRTI (7.8), meningitis (1.2), encephalitis (0.9), and gastroenteritis (0.7).

One third of hospitalized children is attributed to CDs. Improving vaccination coverage, antibiotic use and basic hygiene can decrease the morbidity and mortality attributed to LRTI, gastroenteritis and meningitis, particularly during the first year of life.

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