Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Home delivery, umbilical cord care practices and postnatal care utilization among mothers in a rural community of Sokoto State

A.U. Kaoje, N.C. Okafoagu, M.O. Raji, Y.H. Raji, M.A. Nasir, M Bello, U.M. Ango


Introduction: The postnatal period is critical to the health and survival of mothers and newborns as it provide opportunities for promoting healthy behaviour including appropriate cord care practices. The study aimed to assess home delivery, cord cares practices and utilization of postnatal care services by mothers.

Methods: A community-based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 352 mothers of children less than one year in a rural community. A multistage sampling technique was used to select the respondents from the households. Close-ended pretested questionnaire were used to collect data through face-to-face interview and data analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23.0.

Results: Prevalence of home births was 70.7% and 48.2% of these deliveries were conducted by traditional birth attendants. More than three-quarters of mothers cleaned their baby’s umbilical cord but only 40.7% used cotton wool with methylated spirit. The most prevalent cleaning technique was cleaning cord base and surrounding skin simultaneously. Only 18.5% of the respondents went to the hospital following home delivery. Among these, 45.7% of them visited hospital for postnatal care within the first 24 hours, 10.9% visited on second day and 21.7% before the end of the first week.

Conclusion: Home deliveries, inappropriate umbilical cord care practices and low utilization of postnatal care services are still prevalent practices in this community in spite of availability of a health facility. More health education programmes to promote appropriate newborn care practices are recommended.

Keywords: Home deliveries, Cord care, Post-natal services utilization

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