Maternal knowledge and care.seeking behaviors for newborn jaundice in Sagamu, Southwest Nigeria
Background: Delay in the presentation of infants with jaundice at the hospital is a reason for the persistence of the severe forms of jaundice.
Objective: The aim was to determine the influence of maternal knowledge on newborn jaundice on their care-seeking practices.
Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, mothers whose infants presented with significant hyperbilirubinemia were assessed for knowledge about jaundice in relation to their care seeking behaviors.
Results: Out of 98 mothers, 57.1% had good knowledge on newborn jaundice. Most of the mothers with good knowledge had tertiary education (P = 0.004), had good care-seeking behavior for newborn jaundice (P = 0.027) and their infants did not develop kernicterus (P = 0.0001). Mothers with tertiary education also had significantly better performances on the knowledge and care-seeking evaluation scales.
Conclusion: Maternal knowledge on newborn jaundice, as well as tertiary maternal education, influenced appropriate care-seeking behavior for infants with jaundice and reduced the risk of complications.
Key words: Health care-seeking behavior, maternal knowledge, neonatal jaundice, neonatal mortality