Pregnancy outcomes in Benghazi, Libya, before and during the armed conflict in 2011


ABSTRACT Stressful life events experienced by pregnant women may lead to adverse obstetric outcomes. This study in Benghazi compared the rates of preterm, low-birth-weight and caesarean-section births at Al-Jamhouria hospital in the months before and during the armed conflict in Libya in 2011. Data were collected on all women admitted to the delivery ward during February to May 2011 (the months of the most active fighting in the city) (n = 7096), and October to December 2010 (the months immediately before the war) (n = 5935). Compared with the preceding months there was a significant rise during the conflict in the rate of deliveries involving preterm (3.6% versus 2.5%) and low-birth-weight (10.1% versus 8.5%) infants and caesarean sections (26.9% versus 25.3%). Psychosocial stress may have been a factor (among others) in an increase in negative pregnancy outcomes, and obstetric hospitals should be aware of these issues in times of war.

Authors & affiliation: 
Z. Bodalal, K. Agnaeber, N. Nagelkerke, B. Stirling, M. Temmerman and O. Degomme 1Faculty of Medicine, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya (Correspondence to Z. Bodalal: 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Al-Jamhouria Hospital, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya. 3Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. 4Island Medical Program, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 5International Centre for Reproductive Health; 6International Centre for Reproductive Health, Department of Uro-Gynaecology Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.
Published In: 
Eastern Meditarean Health Journal EMHJ • Vol. 20 No. 3 • 2014
Publication date: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014