Essential newborn care in rural settings: The case of Warrap State in South Sudan
African Evaluation Journal
Essential newborn care is taking a predominant role in addressing under-five healthcare delivery interventions. There are no current well-established guidelines or common methodologies on how to assess the situation of newborn care in countries with weak health information systems, especially when addressing situational needs in rural settings. The main objective of this study was to test the feasibility of collecting information using a community based approach to assess the level of coverage
... f essential newborn care, especially for rural settings. Six indicators related to promotion and provision of thermal care, early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding, and hygienic cord care, were measured. A two-stage stratified and weighted random sampling was carried out. Standard sample calculations were used to determine a sample of 511 respondents. Descriptive results from the population survey showed that the prevalence of newborns receiving all recommended elements of essential new born care in the surveyed area was 1%. The most common element completed, with nine out of ten respondents, was wrapping the newborn immediately after birth, but only 1% were not bathed within the first six hours after birth. Survey results confirmed low coverage of systematic application of essential newborn care measures in rural areas of Warrap State in South Sudan.This observational study indicates that the collection of information on health care behaviours around essential newborn care indicators (thermal, cord and eye care, and breastfeeding) can be reliably achieved, especially in hard-to-reach areas, at the community level.