Neonatal Jaundice: awareness, perception and preventive practices in expectant mothers
Background: Neonatal jaundice (NNJ) is a preventable cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Improving mothers’ knowledge will help with early recognition of NNJ, prompt and appropriate intervention. This study highlights the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding neonatal jaundice among expectant mothers attending the antenatal clinics of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Mamprobi Polyclinic in Accra.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 175 expectant mothers. Interviewer based questionnaire was used to obtain data on knowledge, attitude and practice concerning NNJ. The study was conducted between 1st and 17th November 2013 at two antenatal clinics in Accra.
Results: Out of the 175 respondents, 135 (77.1%) had heard about NNJ but only 37 (27.4%) of them heard it from the hospital. Among those who had heard about NNJ, 98 (72.6%) knew at least one symptom of NNJ; 125 (92.6%) did not know the causes of jaundice or had the wrong information and there was no significant association with their
level of education (X2 =6.757, p=0.15). Only 7(5.2%) knew one or more correct forms of treatment of NNJ; 67(49.6%) knew one or more danger signs and 86(63.5%) knew one or more complications.
Conclusion: Majority of expectant mothers attending antenatal clinics at a Teaching Hospital and a Polyclinic in Accra, Ghana are aware of NNJ but have poor knowledge about the causes, danger signs and treatment of NNJ, irrespective of their level of education or their parity.
Keywords: Jaundice, new born, mothers, knowledge, Accra
Funding: None declared