Impact of umbilical cord cleansing with 4% chlorhexidine on rate of omphalitis and separation time among newborns in Khartoum state, Sudan
Healthcare in Low-resource Settings
Infection of the umbilical cord remains high in developing countries with subsequent increase in neonatal mortality rates. This may be due to the practice of applying potentially harmful substances to the freshly cut cord. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of umbilical cord care with 4% chlorhexidine on the rate of omphalitis and separation time among newborns in Khartoum State. This was a quasi-experimental research design that was carried out in the main maternity hospitals of
... ity hospitals of Khartoum state between February and August 2012. One hundred mothers and their respective babies were selected by convenience sampling and were divided equally into intervention and control groups. The tools used for data collection were a questionnaire and an observational checklist. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 17 for descriptive and inferential statistics. Umbilical cord training was effective in enhancing mothers' knowledge and skills in the intervention group. The result showed that the omphalitis rate was reduced significantly in the intervention group; also the intervention group had a shorter separation time (mean=5.02) compared to the control group (mean=7.24). In conclusion, the application of 4% chlorhexidine on the freshly cut umbilical cord stump, significantly reduces omphalitis rate. This inexpensive and simple intervention can save a significant number of newborn lives in developing countries.