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Special issue: newborn health in Uganda.

Kerber K, Peterson S, Waiswa P - Glob Health Action (2015)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Save the Children, Cape Town, South Africa.

ABSTRACT

Background: Care for women and babies before, during, and after the time of birth is a sensitive measure of the functionality of any health system. Engaging communities in preventing newborn deaths is a promising strategy to achieve further progress in child survival in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective: To assess the effect of a home visit strategy combined with health facility strengthening on uptake of newborn care-seeking, practices and services, and to link the results to national policy and scale-up in Uganda.

Design: The Uganda Newborn Study (UNEST) was a two-arm cluster-randomised controlled trial in rural eastern Uganda. In intervention villages volunteer community health workers (CHWs) were trained to identify pregnant women and make five home visits (two during pregnancy and three in the first week after birth) to offer preventive and promotive care and counselling, with extra visits for sick and small newborns to assess and refer. Health facility strengthening was done in all facilities to improve quality of care. Primary outcomes were coverage of key essential newborn care behaviours (breastfeeding, thermal care, and cord care). Analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered as a clinical trial, number ISRCTN50321130.

Results: The intervention significantly improved essential newborn care practices, although many interventions saw major increases in both arms over the study period. Immediate breastfeeding after birth and exclusive breastfeeding were significantly higher in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (72.6% vs. 66.0%; p=0.016 and 81.8% vs. 75.9%, p=0.042, respectively). Skin-to-skin care immediately after birth and cord cutting with a clean instrument were marginally higher in the intervention arm versus the control arm (80.7% vs. 72.2%; p=0.071 and 88.1% vs. 84.4%; p=0.023, respectively). Half (49.6%) of the mothers in the intervention arm waited more than 24 hours to bathe the baby, compared to 35.5% in the control arm (p<0.001). Dry umbilical cord care was also significantly higher in intervention areas (63.9% vs. 53.1%, p<0.001). There was no difference in care-seeking for newborn illness, which was high (around 95%) in both arms. Skilled attendance at delivery increased in both the intervention (by 21%) and control arms (by 19%) between baseline and endline, but there was no significant difference in coverage across arms at endline (79.6% vs. 78.9%; p=0.717). Home visits were pro-poor, with more women in the poorest quintile visited by a CHW compared to families in the least poor quintile, and more women who delivered at home visited by a CHW after birth (73.6%) compared to those who delivered in a hospital or health facility (59.7%) (p<0.001). CHWs visited 62.8% of women and newborns in the first week after birth, with 40.2% receiving a visit on the critical first day of life.

Conclusion: Consistent with results from other community newborn care studies, volunteer CHWs can be effective in changing long-standing practices around newborn care. The home visit strategy may provide greater benefit to poorer families. However, CHW strategies require strong linkages with and concurrent improvement of quality through health system strengthening, especially in settings with high and increasing demand for facility-based services.

No MeSH data available.


Map of the UNEST study area.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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F0001_24251: Map of the UNEST study area.

Mentions: The UNEST design and package has been described elsewhere (32–34). In brief, the study took place in the Iganga-Mayuge Health and Demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) located in Iganga and Mayuge districts in the eastern region of Uganda, about 120 km east of the capital city of Kampala. The HDSS serves a population size of 70,000 people, at the time of the study, living in 65 villages, with women of reproductive age comprising 23%. The total fertility rate of the HDSS is 4.3. The population is served by 20 facilities including six private facilities (Fig. 1). The public hospital in Iganga is the only comprehensive emergency obstetric care facility. The public facilities charge no fees for services, although there are often informal costs requested of families. Typically, private facilities consisted of a small clinic with less than five staff who could provide essential care for common conditions. Private facilities are more accessible to the population and sometimes to rural areas than public facilities.


Special issue: newborn health in Uganda.

Kerber K, Peterson S, Waiswa P - Glob Health Action (2015)

Map of the UNEST study area.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4385224&req=5

F0001_24251: Map of the UNEST study area.
Mentions: The UNEST design and package has been described elsewhere (32–34). In brief, the study took place in the Iganga-Mayuge Health and Demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) located in Iganga and Mayuge districts in the eastern region of Uganda, about 120 km east of the capital city of Kampala. The HDSS serves a population size of 70,000 people, at the time of the study, living in 65 villages, with women of reproductive age comprising 23%. The total fertility rate of the HDSS is 4.3. The population is served by 20 facilities including six private facilities (Fig. 1). The public hospital in Iganga is the only comprehensive emergency obstetric care facility. The public facilities charge no fees for services, although there are often informal costs requested of families. Typically, private facilities consisted of a small clinic with less than five staff who could provide essential care for common conditions. Private facilities are more accessible to the population and sometimes to rural areas than public facilities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Save the Children, Cape Town, South Africa.

ABSTRACT

Background: Care for women and babies before, during, and after the time of birth is a sensitive measure of the functionality of any health system. Engaging communities in preventing newborn deaths is a promising strategy to achieve further progress in child survival in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective: To assess the effect of a home visit strategy combined with health facility strengthening on uptake of newborn care-seeking, practices and services, and to link the results to national policy and scale-up in Uganda.

Design: The Uganda Newborn Study (UNEST) was a two-arm cluster-randomised controlled trial in rural eastern Uganda. In intervention villages volunteer community health workers (CHWs) were trained to identify pregnant women and make five home visits (two during pregnancy and three in the first week after birth) to offer preventive and promotive care and counselling, with extra visits for sick and small newborns to assess and refer. Health facility strengthening was done in all facilities to improve quality of care. Primary outcomes were coverage of key essential newborn care behaviours (breastfeeding, thermal care, and cord care). Analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered as a clinical trial, number ISRCTN50321130.

Results: The intervention significantly improved essential newborn care practices, although many interventions saw major increases in both arms over the study period. Immediate breastfeeding after birth and exclusive breastfeeding were significantly higher in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (72.6% vs. 66.0%; p=0.016 and 81.8% vs. 75.9%, p=0.042, respectively). Skin-to-skin care immediately after birth and cord cutting with a clean instrument were marginally higher in the intervention arm versus the control arm (80.7% vs. 72.2%; p=0.071 and 88.1% vs. 84.4%; p=0.023, respectively). Half (49.6%) of the mothers in the intervention arm waited more than 24 hours to bathe the baby, compared to 35.5% in the control arm (p<0.001). Dry umbilical cord care was also significantly higher in intervention areas (63.9% vs. 53.1%, p<0.001). There was no difference in care-seeking for newborn illness, which was high (around 95%) in both arms. Skilled attendance at delivery increased in both the intervention (by 21%) and control arms (by 19%) between baseline and endline, but there was no significant difference in coverage across arms at endline (79.6% vs. 78.9%; p=0.717). Home visits were pro-poor, with more women in the poorest quintile visited by a CHW compared to families in the least poor quintile, and more women who delivered at home visited by a CHW after birth (73.6%) compared to those who delivered in a hospital or health facility (59.7%) (p<0.001). CHWs visited 62.8% of women and newborns in the first week after birth, with 40.2% receiving a visit on the critical first day of life.

Conclusion: Consistent with results from other community newborn care studies, volunteer CHWs can be effective in changing long-standing practices around newborn care. The home visit strategy may provide greater benefit to poorer families. However, CHW strategies require strong linkages with and concurrent improvement of quality through health system strengthening, especially in settings with high and increasing demand for facility-based services.

No MeSH data available.