Original Research

Modifiable antenatal risk factors for stillbirth amongst pregnant women in the Omusati region, Namibia

Desire D. Tshibumbu, Julia Blitz
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 1 | a1054 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i1.1054 | © 2016 Desire D. Tshibumbu, Julia Blitz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 October 2015 | Published: 11 May 2016

About the author(s)

Desire D. Tshibumbu, Division of Family Medicine, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Julia Blitz, Division of Family Medicine, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Background: Reduction of stillbirth rates is important because of the social and economic implications. Access to quality antenatal care is important in preventing the risk factors associated with stillbirth.

Aim: To determine the prevalence of modifiable antenatal risk factors associated with stillbirth so as to determine possible gaps in their prevention.

Setting: The study was conducted at four district hospitals in the Omusati Region of Namibia.

Methods: A descriptive study using recorded antenatal data was used. Data were collected from the records of 82 women at the time that they had a stillbirth, during the period October 2013 to December 2014. Data were collected for modifiable risk factors related to maternal characteristics, antenatal care received, medical conditions and obstetric complications.

Results: The average prevalence of each category of risk factors was as follows: quality of antenatal care (19.8%), maternal characteristics (11.4%), medical conditions (8.9%) and obstetric complications (6.5%). The most prevalent individual risk factors included: no folate supplementation (30.5%), HIV infection (25.6%), late booking (16.7%), intrauterine foetal growth retardation (13.4%) and alcohol use (12.5%).

Conclusion: Amongst the 14 modifiable risk factor included in the present study, 11 (78.6%) were prevalent amongst women who had a stillbirth. Risk factors associated with quality of antenatal care were the most prevalent. Whilst further investigation is needed to determine the causes behind this prevalence, health education on the availability and benefits of antenatal care, pregnancy timing and spacing may contribute to reducing the prevalence of these risk factors.

Keywords: Stillbirth; modifiable risk factors; pregnant women; Omusati region; Namibia


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Crossref Citations

1. Association between utilization and quality of antenatal care with stillbirths in four tertiary hospitals in a low‐income urban setting
George N. Gwako, Fredrick Were, Moses M. Obimbo, John Kinuthia, Onesmus W. Gachuno, Peter B. Gichangi
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica  vol: 100  issue: 4  first page: 676  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1111/aogs.13956