Objective: To analyze and compare the current gestational age specific neonatal survival rates between Qatar and international benchmarks. Study Design: An analytical comparative study. Place and Duration of Study: Women\'s Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar, from 2003-2008. Methodology: Six year\'s (2003-2008) gestational age specific neonatal mortality data was stratified for each completed week of gestation at birth from 24 weeks till term. The data from World Health Statistics by WHO (2010), Vermont Oxford Network (VON, 2007) and National Statistics United Kingdom (2006) were used as international benchmarks for comparative analysis. Results: A total of 82,002 babies were born during the study period. Qatar\'s neonatal mortality rate (NMR) dropped from 6/1000 in 2003 to 4.3/1000 in 2008 (p < 0.05). The overall and gestational age specific neonatal mortality rates of Qatar were comparable with international benchmarks. The survival of < 27 weeks and term babies was better in Qatar (p=0.01 and p < 0.001 respectively) as compared to VON. The survival of > 32 weeks babies was better in UK (p=0.01) as compared to Qatar. The relative risk (RR) of death decreased with increasing gestational age (p < 0.0001). Preterm babies (45%) followed by lethal chromosomal and congenital anomalies (26.5%) were the two leading causes of neonatal deaths in Qatar. Conclusion: The current total and gestational age specific neonatal survival rates in the State of Qatar are comparable with international benchmarks. In Qatar, persistently high rates of low birth weight and lethal chromosomal and congenital anomalies significantly contribute towards neonatal mortality.
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