Knowledge of essential newborn care and neonatal danger signs amongst post-natal mothers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Background. Tanzania has high infant mortality. Essential newborn care (ENC) and neonatal danger indicators are vital for reducing neonatal morbidity and mortality. This study examined postnatal moms’ knowledge of ENC and neonatal danger indicators in Dar es Salaam.
Methods: Post-natal moms from four hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, participated in a hospital-based, cross-sectional study employing sequential sampling. Interviewees completed a structured questionnaire. SPSS 20.0 was used for data analysis. We employed frequencies to summarize ENC and neonatal risk signs knowledge. When the pvalue was less than 0.05, statistical significance was assumed for the adjusted odds ratio.
Results. There were 825 people registered. Most were married (71.8%) and had a primary education (59%). Over 85% of women visited the prenatal clinic at least four times, however only 33.1% received ENC education during ANC visits and 70.5% following birth. Nurses and midwives trained 86% of them. 64.2% of postnatal mothers were ENC-savvy. Fever and difficulty to breastfeed were the most prevalent neonatal risk signals. Participants who did not receive ENC education before delivery were 1.74 times more likely to have bad knowledge (AOR 1.74 [95% CI (1.22-2.49)], p0.002), while moms who did not obtain education after delivery were 4.2 times more likely to have poor knowledge (AOR 4.20 [95% CI 3.00-5.88]).
Conclusions. Over 35% of postnatal mothers lacked ENC and newborn danger sign awareness. Prenatal and postnatal education increased maternal knowledge. Before and after delivery, ENC and neonatal risk indicators should be emphasized.
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