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Essential Newborn Care Service Readiness and Barriers in Northwest Ethiopia: A Descriptive Survey and Qualitative Study

Authors Delele TG, Biks GA, Abebe SM, Kebede ZT

Received 4 January 2021

Accepted for publication 3 March 2021

Published 23 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 713—725

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S300362

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Tadesse Guadu Delele,1 Gashaw Andargie Biks,2 Solomon Mekonnen Abebe,3 Zemene Tigabu Kebede4

1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Health System and Policy, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 3Departments of Human Nutrition, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 4Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Tadesse Guadu Delele
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, P.O. Box 196, Gondar, Ethiopia
Email [email protected]

Background: Despite the efforts put forth in improving neonatal survival, there is still a high rate of neonatal morbidity and mortality in northwest Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the essential newborn care service readiness scores and explore the health facility-related barriers in North Gondar Zone, Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 16 health facilities (14 health centers and two hospitals) and twelve in-depth interviews were included in the study in three randomly selected districts of North Gondar Zone. A pretested health facility inventory questionnaire customized from the World Health Organization (WHO) service readiness assessment tool was used for a facility audit. Basic emergency and essential obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC), and child immunization service readiness scores were determined using unweighted averages according to the WHO guideline. Descriptive statistics were done for the quantitative data, and thematic content analysis was employed using NVivo 12 software for the qualitative data.
Results: All the surveyed health facilities had no specialist medical doctors, and 50% (8/16) of them had no inpatient beds. The overall BEmONC service readiness score was 62.7% (10/16) (95% CI: 34.8, 83.8) and only one facility had all the tracer items. Trained staff and guidelines had a 27.5% (4/16) readiness score, followed by 71.9% (12/16) readiness score for equipment, and 88.6% (14/16) readiness score for medicine and commodities. The overall child immunization service readiness score was 90.3% (15/16) (95% CI: 51.4, 94.7) and eleven facilities (68.8%) had all the tracer items. The immunization service readiness score was higher; 84.4% (14/16) for trained staff and guidelines, 92.8% (15/16) for equipment, and 93.8% (15/16) for medicines and commodities. Unavailability of equipment, shortage of supplies, and lack of respectful and compassionate healthcare practices were the key facility-related barriers compromising essential newborn care service readiness.
Conclusions for Practice: The survey revealed that the essential newborn care service readiness score of the health facilities was low, and it calls for improving BEmONC service readiness in particular. Provision of timely training for newly recruited staff, fulfilling essential equipment, and steady supply is imperative.

Keywords: basic emergency, essential obstetric, newborn care, immunization, service readiness, barriers

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