Mothers' knowledge on essential newborn care at Juba Teaching Hospital, South Sudan
Meseka, L. A.
Mungai, L. W
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Introduction: Globally neonatal mortality remains high and in South Sudan is estimated at 52/1000 live births. Objective: To identify the gaps in the knowledge and practices of essential newborn care among postnatal mothers at Juba Teaching Hospital and to determine the socio-demographic factors that influenced these. Methodology: A hospital-based cross-sectional study among 384 postnatal mothers using consecutive sampling, a pretested questionnaire to assess knowledge and a three point Likert scale to find out to which practices mothers did, or did not, agree. Results: 45% of mothers were aged between 25-34 years; 23.9% had some secondary school education; 70% were multiparous and 82% had attended an antenatal care clinic. 90% knew about breastfeeding on demand and 74% about exclusive breastfeeding. Only 18.2% of mothers knew the cord should be cared for while uncovered; 90% used warm clothing and 33% kangaroo care for thermoregulation. Only 20.8% identified BCG and OPV as birth vaccines; 3.4% believed vaccines were harmful. Hypothermia was the danger sign least frequently identified by the mothers (41.4%). Conclusion: Adequate knowledge was found regarding breastfeeding with knowledge gaps existing in cord care, immunization, eye care and thermoregulation. Positive practice was found concerning breastfeeding, cord care, eye care and immunization. Socio-demographic factors were not found to be associated with maternal knowledge on newborn care.
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