Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Tetanus in newborns, is an under-reported public health problem and a major cause of mortality in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the predictors and outcome of tetanus in newborn infants in the slums of Bin-Qasim town, Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: We conducted a case-control study at primary health care centers of slums of Bin-Qasim town, area located adjacent to Bin Qasim seaport in Karachi, from January 2003 to December 2013. Cases were infants aged ≤30 days with tetanus, as defined by the World Health Organization. Controls were newborn infants aged ≤30 days without Tetanus, who were referred for a checkup or minor illnesses. The case to control ratio was 1:2.
Results: We analyzed 26 cases and 52 controls. The case fatality was 70.8%. We identified four independent predictors of Tetanus in newborns: maternal education (only religious education with no formal education OR 51.95; 95% CI 3.69-731), maternal non-vaccination (OR 24.55; 95% CI 1.01-131.77), lack of a skilled birth attendant (OR 44.00; 95% CI 2.30-840.99), and delivery at home (OR 11.54; 95% CI 1.01-131.77).
Conclusions: We identified several potentially modifiable socio-demographic risk factors for Tetanus in newborns, including maternal education and immunization status, birth site, and lack of a skilled birth attendant. Prioritization of these risk factors could be useful for planning preventive and cost-effective measures.

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BMC Research Notes

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Pediatrics Commons