Harmful traditional practices in a newborn: A case report

  • O Peterside
  • CO Duru
  • N Anene
Keywords: Harmful traditional practices, newborn, neonatal morbidity, neonatal mortality


Ninetynine percent of the nearly four million newborn deaths occur in developing countries with newborn deaths remaining relatively invisible and neglected1. In these countries, traditional attitudes and practices dominate newborn care and are often harzadous2. As most births and newborn deaths in developing countries occur outside health care facilities, a reduction in neonatal mortality may depend significantly on interventions involving adaptation of traditional care behaviours practiced at home3. However, despite the importance of traditional practices in the newborn period, little is known about the impact of these practices on newborn health2. We herein present a case of an eighteen day old female who was rushed to the hospital with severe wasting, recto-vaginal prolapse and septic umbilical cord resulting from repeated traditional homecare practices by her mother and grandmother. This case highlights the impact of harmful traditional home care practices on newborn health and emphasizes the urgent need for public enlightenment campaigns and other policy decisions and interventions aimed at reducing this societal menace.

Keywords: Harmful traditional practices, newborn, neonatal morbidity, neonatal mortality


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eISSN: 0302-4660