NEW BORN CORD CARE PRACTICES AMONG PARTURIENT WOMEN IN A RURAL CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA SETTING
Background: Despite the progress made in recent decades to reduce the number of child deaths globally, many new-borns continue to die preventable deaths from conditions such as neonatal infections, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria. The umbilical cord remnants provide a good site for proliferation of infectious organisms which can lead to the death of new-born babies in their first month of life. Hence this study explored the new-born cord care practices of parturient women and the factors that contribute to such practices.
Method: This study was a descriptive, cross-sectional survey of parturient women, who gave birth in the past one year. A Multi-stage sampling technique, was used to recruit respondents across selected communities. Ethical clearance was obtained, while informed consent was obtained from the study participants. A total of 400 volunteering respondents were consecutively recruited while a self-developed and validated questionnaire was used to collect data
Result:The major findings of the study were that a significant percentage (12.2%) of the respondents did not deliver their babies in any health facility. There were evidences of potentially harmful new-born cord care practices among the respondents such as application of herbs and tooth-pastes to new-born’s umbilical cord (12% and 5.2% respectively) and 8% applied hot balms to hasten cord separation. Fifteen percent of the respondents indicated that they noticed signs of infection on the baby’s cord while place of delivery influenced their new born cord care practices.
Conclusion: Therefore, there is need for public enlightenment programs specifically tailored for rural dwellers on good new-born cord care practices.
Keywords: New-born; cord care practices; parturient women; South Eastern Nigeria.