Delivery care utilisation and care-seeking in the neonatal period: a population-based study in Vietnam.

Målqvist, M; Nga, NT; Eriksson, L; Wallin, L; Ewald, U; Persson, LA; (2008) Delivery care utilisation and care-seeking in the neonatal period: a population-based study in Vietnam. Annals of tropical paediatrics, 28 (3). pp. 191-8. ISSN 0272-4936 DOI:

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If millions of neonatal deaths each year are to be prevented, one crucial component that must be improved is adequate care-seeking behaviour and effective use of existing health care systems. We have investigated these factors in relation to delivery and the neonatal period in a province in Northern Vietnam, a setting currently in socio-economic transition. Information on births and neonatal deaths between January and December 2005 in Quang Ninh province was collected. Narratives of the neonatal deaths were gathered and information about care-seeking in relation to delivery and illness was extracted. This information was then compared with the time and place of delivery and death. We registered 17,519 births and 284 neonatal deaths occurring between January and December 2005. The neonatal mortality rate varied from 7.5/1000 to 38/1000, depending on the place of delivery. A quarter of the neonatal deaths had no contact with the health-care system at the time of death. Neonatal death within 24 hours of birth was more likely when the mother did not seek care at the time of delivery, or did so at the lowest level of the system (chi2=35.5, p<0.001). Mothers of ethnic minorities were more likely to exhibit this care-seeking behaviour at delivery. Further improvement in neonatal survival can be achieved by changes in health system utilisation that aim to secure safe delivery for pregnant women. More efforts at local level are needed to encourage adequate care-seeking.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 18727847
Web of Science ID: 259640600002


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