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A stitch in time: narrative review of interventions to reduce preterm births in Malawi

Batura, R; Colbourn, T; (2019) A stitch in time: narrative review of interventions to reduce preterm births in Malawi. International Health , Article ihz101. 10.1093/inthealth/ihz101. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The rising rate of preterm births (PTBs) is a global concern, and Malawi has a high rate of PTBs (10.5%). The resulting neonatal and under-5 mortality, morbidity and lifelong disability represent a significant loss of human potential affecting individuals, families and society as a whole. This study aims to review the literature to determine the risk factors for PTB in Malawi and to identify effective interventions to prevent PTBs. METHODS: A literature search yielded 22 studies that were categorized according to risk factors implicated for PTBs and health interventions to reduce the risks. RESULTS: The study has shown that maternal pregnancy factors, infections, nutrition, anaemia and young maternal age are the main causes and risk factors of PTBs in Malawi. The literature revealed no evidence of community-based interventions for reducing the rates of PTBs in Malawi. CONCLUSIONS: Any successful effort to reduce the rate of PTBs will require a multisector, multilevel strategy targeted at the community, homes and individuals as a package to improve the education, nutrition and reproductive health of girls and women as well as focus on improving the delivery of antenatal services in the community.

Type: Article
Title: A stitch in time: narrative review of interventions to reduce preterm births in Malawi
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/inthealth/ihz101
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihz101
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Keywords: Malawi, preterm birth, prevention, risk factors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090261
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