Newborn care behaviours and neonatal survival: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa.

Penfold, S; Willey, BA; Schellenberg, J; (2013) Newborn care behaviours and neonatal survival: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa. Tropical medicine & international health, 18 (11). pp. 1294-316. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI:

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OBJECTIVE: To review evidence from sub-Saharan Africa for the association between the practice or promotion of essential newborn care behaviours and neonatal survival.<br/> METHODS: We searched MEDLINE for English language, peer-reviewed literature published since 2005. The study population was neonates residing in a sub-Saharan Africa country who were not HIV positive. Outcomes were all-cause neonatal or early neonatal mortality or one of the three main causes of neonatal mortality: complications of preterm birth, infections and intrapartum-related neonatal events. Interventions included were the practice or promotion of recommended newborn care behaviours including warmth, hygiene, breastfeeding, resuscitation and management of illness. We included study designs with a concurrent comparison group. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane EPOC or Newcastle-Ottawa tools and summarised using GRADE.<br/> RESULTS: Eleven papers met the search criteria and most were at low risk of bias. We found evidence that delivering on a clean surface, newborn resuscitation, early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for low-birthweight babies, and distribution of clean delivery kits were associated with reduced risks of neonatal mortality or the main causes of neonatal mortality. There was evidence that training community birth attendants in resuscitation and administering antibiotics, and establishing women's groups can improve neonatal survival.<br/> CONCLUSION: There is a remarkable lack of robust evidence from sub-Saharan Africa on the association between practice or promotion of newborn care behaviours and newborn survival.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Tropical Epidemiology Group
PubMed ID: 24112377
Web of Science ID: 328331200001


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