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Purpose: Neonatal sepsis (NS) is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, particularly in developing countries. Delays in the identification and treatment of NS are the main contributors to the high mortality. This study aims to identify risk factors for NS in newborns in the two university hospitals in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Methods: This hospital-based case-control study was carried out on 486 mother-newborn pairs using the systematic sampling method during November 2019 to October 2020. Data were analyzed using STATA software (version 15). Binary and multivariable logistic regression analyses were computed to identify the associated factors at 95% CI. Results: A total of 162 cases and 324 controls were included in this study. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the possible risk factors for NS in this study were low level of education (AOR = 9.16 [2.23-37.67]), maternal genitourinary tract infections (AOR = 42.59 [17.90-101.37]), premature rupture of membranes (AOR = 19.95 [7.27-54.76]), peripartum fever (AOR = 26.25 [2.31-297.83]), prolonged labor (AOR = 14.16 [3.88-51.71]), cesarean section (AOR = 3.57 [1.48-8.61]), obstructed vaginal delivery (AOR = 13.40 [1.32-136.19]), birth weight <1500 grams (AOR = 70.38 [8.64-572.95]), and between 1500-2500 grams (AOR = 7.90 [3.04-20.52]). Conclusion: The study found that maternal and neonatal factors were strongly associated with the risk of developing NS. The present study suggests the possibility of routine assessment of sepsis in newborns born with the above characteristics.
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