MOTHERS’ KNOWLEDGE AND PRATICE ON ESSENTIAL NEWBORN CARE AT HEALTH FACILITIES IN GAROUA CITY, CAMEROON
Introduction: The burden of neonatal death is still high in developing countries where most of the causes could be prevented.
Objective: To determine the knowledge and practice of mothers on essential newborn care.
Patients and Methods: This was a cross sectional study carried out in four health facilities in Garoua city, Northern Cameroon, from November 2010 to April 2011. Three hundred and forty seven mothers were interviewed using a standard questionnaire. Sociodemographic data were collected and information was gathered on cord care, thermal care, breastfeeding and vaccines, The main outcome was good practices of essential neonatal care.
Results: The mean age of mothers was 25.14 ± 5.70 years. Analphabetism counted for 152 (43.8%). The antenatal history revealed that 211 (60.8%) mothers had at least four ANC. The mean age of their newborns was 14.71 ± 6.40 days. The use of sterile material for cutting umbilical cord was reported by 307 (88.5%) mothers and 5 (1.4%) said they received information on newborn’s danger signs. Traditional substances was applied on the cord by 188 (54.2) mothers while eye care without any eye disease was continued for 2 to 7 days by 194 (85.4%) mothers. Six hours delayed first bath was given by 244 (70.3%) mothers and breastfeeding within one hour by 154 (44.3%). BCG and oral Polio vaccine was received by 315 (90.8%) and 316 (91%) newborns respectively. Insecticide-treated bed nets were used by 226 (65.1%) mothers.
Conclusion: This study revealed that mothers were not knowledgeable on danger signs and they had poor practice on breastfeeding, eye care and cord care. The quality of ANC should be enhanced and tutoring of mothers on the practice of essential newborn care at immediate postpartum is necessary.
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