Determinants of Low Birth Weight in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, Ghana

Dorcas T. Ndebire

Upper East Regional Hospital, Bolgatanga, Ghana.

Keren-Happuch Twumasiwaa Boateng *

Midwifery and Women’s Health Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana and Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Accra, Ghana.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: The incident of low birth weight and its associated implication has become a great public health concern. Low birth weight is the birth weight of a child less than 2.5 kg. several factors have been implicated in the development of low birth weight. The purpose of the study was to assess the determinant of low birth weight.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional design was conducted with a sample size of 183 post-natal women who had delivered 12 months and below in the district. The participants were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Purposive sampling technique was used in recruiting the participants for the study and ethical approval sought from the Nabdam District Health Directorate. An SPSS version 20 was used to process the data and generated the descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean, mode and standard deviations.

Results: Out of 183 new born babies, 146 (79.8%) were normal whiles 37 (20.2%) had low birth weight. The impact of marriage, education, place of stay, planned pregnancy employment and health insurance were significant with a p-value of < 0.001. Maternal and obstetric factors such as parity, gestational age at delivery and mode of delivery had p-values of <0.001 which were significant. The effect of gestational age at ANC, number of ANC visits anemia in pregnancy, religion and age had no association with low birth weight.

Conclusions: This study shows that among babies born to mothers with increased parity, low level of education, unemployed and short gestational ages were at risk of low birth weight. Therefore, in order to reduce the high prevalence of low birth weight in the community, every pregnant woman should be encouraged to obtain the national health insurance cards that will enable them attend regular antenatal clinics.

Keywords: Anaemia, pre-term, parity, low birth weight, gestational age

How to Cite

Ndebire, D. T., & Boateng, K.-H. T. (2022). Determinants of Low Birth Weight in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, Ghana. International Journal of Research and Reports in Gynaecology, 5(1), 296–304. Retrieved from


Download data is not yet available.


WHO. International classification of diseases and related health problems. Geneva: WHO; 2004.

WHO. Global Nutrition Targets 2025: low birth weight policy brief (No. WHO/NMH/NHD/14.5); 2014.

O’Leary M, Edmond K, Floyd S, Newton S, Thomas G, Thomas SL. A cohort study of low birth weight and health outcomes in the first year of life, Ghana. Bull World Health Organ. 2017;95(8):574-83.

DOI: 10.2471/BLT.16.180273

Aslam A. The state of the world children 2013: children with disabilities; 2013.

Lee ACC, Katz J, Blencowe H, Cousens S, Kozuki N, Vogel JP, et al. National and regional estimates of term and preterm babies born small for gestational age in 138 low-income and middle-income countries in 2010. Lancet Glob Health. 2013;1(1):e26-36.

DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70006-8, PMID 25103583.

Murki S, SD. Intrauterine growth retardation – a review article. J Neonatal Biol. 2014;3:3.

Abubakari A, Kynast-Wolf G, Jahn A. Prevalence of abnormal birth weight and related factors in Northern region, Ghana. BMC Preg Childbirth; 2015.

DOI: 10.1186/s12884-015-0790-y

Beyazıt F, Pek E, Güngör AÇ, Gencer M, Unsal MA. Effect of maternal ABO blood type on birth weight and preeclampsia. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol. 2017;6(6):2164.

DOI: 10.18203/2320-1770.ijrcog20172308

Gloria-Bottini F, Cozzoli E, Neri A, Bottini E, Magrini A. Effect of smoking and ABO blood groups on maternal age at child bearing and on birth weight. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011;159(1):83-6.

DOI: 10.1016/J.EJOGRB.2011.07.026, PMID 21839572.

Azhar BS, Islam KS, Ferdouse A. No TitleMaternal obstetric and morbidity factors in relation to infant birth weight. Sch J Appl. Med Sci. 2014;2(2A):539-47.

Shahnawaz K, Choudhary S, Kumar Gautam S, Das P, Pal R, KL. Association between maternal socio-demographic factors and low birth weight newborn in a rural area of Bihar. India. S East Asia J Public Heal. 2015;4(1):30-4.

Opare-Asamoah K. Determinants of low infant birth weight in the tamale Metropolis, Ghana. Asian J Med Health. 2017;8(2): 1-9.

DOI: 10.9734/ajmah/2017/36250

Mohammed S, Bonsing I, Yakubu I, Wondong WP. Maternal obstetric and socio-demographic determinants of low birth weight: A retrospective cross-sectional study in Ghana. Reprod Health. 2019; 16(1):70.

DOI: 10.1186/s12978-019-0742-5, PMID 31142327.

Michael OF, Iddrisu A-R, Yekeen R. Maternal risk factors for low birth weight in a District Hospital in Ashanti Region of Ghana. Res Obstet Gynecol. 2013;2: 48-54.

Tampah-Naah A, Anzagra L, Yendaw E. Factors correlate with low birth weight in Ghana. Br J Med Med Res. 2016;16(4): 1-8.

DOI: 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/24881

Chiavarini M, Bartolucci F, Gili A, Pieroni L, Minelli L. Effects of individual and social factors on preterm birth and low birth weight: empirical evidence from regional data in Italy. Int J Public Health. 2012;57(2):261-8.

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-011-0311-3, PMID 22009490.

Dooley D, Prause J. Birth weight and mothers’ adverse employment change. J Health Soc Behav. 2005;46(2):141-55.

DOI: 10.1177/002214650504600202, PMID 16028454.

Kozhimannil KB, Attanasio LB, McGovern PM, Gjerdingen DK, Johnson PJ. Reevaluating the relationship between prenatal employment and birth outcomes: A policy-relevant application of propensity score matching. Womens Health Issues. 2013;23(2):e77-85.

DOI: 10.1016/J.WHI.2012.11.004, PMID 23266134.

Shah PS, Balkhair T, Ohlsson A, Beyene J, Scott F, Frick C. Intention to become pregnant and low birth weight and preterm birth: A systematic review. Matern Child Health J. 2011;15(2): 205-16.

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-009-0546-2, PMID 20012348.

Chen Y, Zou L, Li G, Ruan Y, Wang X, Zhang W. No Title Appropriate delivery mode and timing of termination for pregnancy with low-birth-weight infants. Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 2015; 50(5):323-8.