Background: There is a scarcity of reliable data on perinatal mortality (PNM) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The PROMISE-EBF trial, during which we promoted exclusive breastfeeding, gave us the opportunity to describe the epidemiology of PNM in Banfora Health District, South-West in Burkina Faso. Study objectives: To measure the perinatal mortality rate (PNMR) in the PROMISE-EBF cohort in Banfora Health District and to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death.
Methods: We used data collected prospectively during the PROMISE-EBF-trial to estimate the stillbirth rate (SBR) and early neonatal mortality rate (ENMR). We used binomial regression with generalized estimating equations to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death.
Results: 895 pregnant women were enrolled for data collection in the EBF trial and followed-up to 7 days after birth. The PNMR, the SBR and the ENMR, were 79 per 1000 (95% CI: 59-99), 54 per 1000 (95% CI: 38-69) and 27 per 1000 (95% CI: 9-44), respectively. In a multivariable analysis, nulliparous women (RR=2.90, 95% CI: 1.6-5.0), primiparae mothers (RR=2.20, 95 %CI: 1.2-3.9), twins (RR=4.0, 95 % CI: 2.3-6.9) and giving birth during the dry season (RR=2.1 95 % CI: 1.3-3.3) were factors associated with increased risk of perinatal death. There was no evidence that risk of perinatal death differed between deliveries at home and at a health centre
Conclusion: Our study observed the highest PNMR ever reported in Burkina. There is an urgent need for sustainable interventions to improve maternal and newborn health in the country.
Key words: Perinatal mortality – stillbirths – neonatal death – rural- Burkina Faso