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Home-based neonatal care by Health Extension Worker in rural Sidama Zone southern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Authors Gebretsadik A, Alemayehu A, Teshome M, Mekonnen M, Haji Y

Received 7 July 2018

Accepted for publication 15 August 2018

Published 9 November 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 147—155


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Roosy Aulakh

Achamyelesh Gebretsadik,1 Akalewoled Alemayehu,1 Million Teshome,2 Mekdes Mekonnen,3 Yusuf Haji1

1School of Public Health, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia; 2Department of Obstetrics, School of Medicine, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia; 3School of Nursing, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia

Background: Home-based neonatal care is associated with a reduction in neonatal mortality in settings with poor access to health facility-based care. The first day of a child’s life is a day of unparalleled opportunity to spare lives and sets the level for a sound future. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and timing of home-based neonatal care by health extension workers (HEWs) in the rural Sidama Zone of southern Ethiopia.
Subjects and methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted, and a total of 2,040 mothers who had a live birth in the last 6 months were studied from 1 to 31 January 2017. Interviewer-administered data were collected using a standard questionnaire developed by the Saving Newborn Lives Program. A descriptive analysis and logistic regression analyses were done.
Results: It was found that 252/2,040 (12.4%) mothers and their neonates were visited by the HEWs during the first month of birth. Out of all households who had a history of visits, 139 (55.2%) had a single visit. Of these, only 66/252 (26.2%) of the first visit were within the first 24 hours. Mothers who received postnatal home visit by the HEWs were at 1.35 times greater odds to have good postnatal practice compared to unvisited mothers (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.35, 95% CI [1, 1.71]). Mothers who gave their last birth at home were 36% less likely to have good postnatal practice compared to those who gave birth in a health institution (AOR 0.64, 95% CI [0.53, 0.79]).
Conclusion: Majority of the neonates did not get the recommended number and frequency of home visits. Postnatal home visit by HEWs had a great role in mothers having good postnatal practice. Therefore, all stakeholders should give attention on strengthening supportive supervision, proper implementation of community-based maternal and neonatal care is very crucial.

Keywords: home-based neonatal care, health extension worker, rural Sidama, Ethiopia

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