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Improving birth weight measurement and recording practices in Kenya and Tanzania: a prospective intervention study with historical controls

K'Oloo, Alloys; Godfrey, Evance; Koivu, Annariina M; Barsosio, Hellen C; Manji, Karim; Ndesangia, Veneranda; Omiti, Fredrick; ... Näsänen-Gilmore, Pieta; + view all (2023) Improving birth weight measurement and recording practices in Kenya and Tanzania: a prospective intervention study with historical controls. Population Health Metrics , 21 (1) , Article 6. 10.1186/s12963-023-00305-x. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Low birth weight (LBW) is a significant public health concern given its association with early-life mortality and other adverse health consequences that can impact the entire life cycle. In many countries, accurate estimates of LBW prevalence are lacking due to inaccuracies in collection and gaps in available data. Our study aimed to determine LBW prevalence among facility-born infants in selected areas of Kenya and Tanzania and to assess whether the introduction of an intervention to improve the accuracy of birth weight measurement would result in a meaningfully different estimate of LBW prevalence than current practice. METHODS: We carried out a historically controlled intervention study in 22 health facilities in Kenya and three health facilities in Tanzania. The intervention included: provision of high-quality digital scales, training of nursing staff on accurate birth weight measurement, recording and scale calibration practices, and quality maintenance support that consisted of enhanced supervision and feedback (prospective arm). The historically controlled data were birth weights from the same facilities recorded in maternity registers for the same calendar months from the previous year measured using routine practices and manual scales. We calculated mean birth weight (95% confidence interval CI), mean difference in LBW prevalence, and respective risk ratio (95% CI) between study arms. RESULTS: Between October 2019 and February 2020, we prospectively collected birth weights from 8441 newborns in Kenya and 4294 in Tanzania. Historical data were available from 9318 newborns in Kenya and 12,007 in Tanzania. In the prospective sample, the prevalence of LBW was 12.6% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 10.9%-14.4%) in Kenya and 18.2% (12.2%-24.2%) in Tanzania. In the historical sample, the corresponding prevalence estimates were 7.8% (6.5%-9.2%) and 10.0% (8.6%-11.4%). Compared to the retrospective sample, the LBW prevalence in the prospective sample was 4.8% points (3.2%-6.4%) higher in Kenya and 8.2% points (2.3%-14.0%) higher in Tanzania, corresponding to a risk ratio of 1.61 (1.38-1.88) in Kenya and 1.81 (1.30-2.52) in Tanzania. CONCLUSION: Routine birth weight records underestimate the risk of LBW among facility-born infants in Kenya and Tanzania. The quality of birth weight data can be improved by a simple intervention consisting of provision of digital scales and supportive training.

Type: Article
Title: Improving birth weight measurement and recording practices in Kenya and Tanzania: a prospective intervention study with historical controls
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12963-023-00305-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12963-023-00305-x
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Accuracy, Data quality, Digital scales, Low birth weight (LBW), Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), Measurement, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Pregnancy, Female, Humans, Birth Weight, Retrospective Studies, Prospective Studies, Tanzania, Kenya
UCL classification: UCL
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 GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10169992
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