About Us

The newborn care constitutes all health care provided with special focus from the period of pregnancy, labor and delivery, through the first 24 hours to the end of the first week of life, covering the period that accounts for 75% of neonatal deaths.  Related to child health, again while there are multiple links, priority will be given to breastfeeding and the care of the sick baby through the IMNCI strategy. 

Key areas/components in Newborn Care
  1. Basic essential newborn care
  2. Management of adverse intra-partum events (including birth asphyxia)
  3. Care of the preterm/low birthweight/growth restricted baby
  4. Management of neonatal infections/sick newborn
Components within the key areas of essential newborn care
  1. Basic essential newborn care

This is primarily preventive care with focus at birth and early postnatal period to the end of the first week. These include the following:

  • Quality birthing practices including prevention of infection (linked with prevention of infection elements noted below.
  • Drying and provision of warmth, ideally through skin-to skin – contact with the mother
  • Cord care
  • Eye care
  • Vitamin K administration
  • Early, exclusive breastfeeding
  • Immunization (BCG, Polio)
  • Early appropriate quality (“focused”) postnatal care

 

  1. Management of adverse intra-partum events (Birth asphyxia)

This is primarily advanced care at the health facility especially district/ polyclinics, regional and Teaching Hospitals. These include the following:

  • Prevention – as this relates to monitoring and care provided to the mother during labor and delivery, this is covered in the maternal health documents including MAF and RH policy and standards.
  • Treatment is through neonatal resuscitation including basic resuscitation at all levels and more advanced care in the referral hospitals.

 

  1. Care of the preterm/low birthweight / growth retarded baby

 

  • Prevention - Antenatal corticosteroids for preterm birth (during labor) to prevent respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Prevention is far easier and less costly than treatment. This intervention applies only to preterm births and not to mature low birthweight babies.
    • Prevention of prematurity/low birth weight itself is a more challenging issue, especially related to prematurity. However, optimal nutrition and care of the girl child, care during the pre-pregnancy and pregnancy periods should be promoted as covered in the national maternal and child health strategies.

 

  • Care of the preterm/low birthweight/growth restricted baby – This includes extra essential newborn care including warmth, additional support for babies who are unable to suck adequately, identification and treatment of problems and careful follow-up care to detect and manage complications and early stimulation.  Kangaroo Mother Care is an effective method of providing this additional care to these vulnerable babies.

 

  1. Management of neonatal infections/sick newborns
    1. Prevention of neonatal infections:
      1. Running water, soap and hand rubs
      2. Motivation for handwashing and following other rules for prevention of infection
      3. Items coming in contact with the baby at birth and the high risk /small babies in the neonatal special care unit should ideally not just be “clean” as planned in home deliveries in low resource countries, but preferably subjected to high-level disinfection (e.g. boiling cord ties) and/or sterilization (e.g. autoclaving). Where feasible, use of disposable, single-use items such as cord clamps, should be encouraged
      4. Cord care (use of sterile, single use blades, scissors subjected to high level disinfection such as boiling or sterilized by autoclaving for cord cutting and use alcohol/chlorhexidine for cord care as will be determined by the Sub-committee on Newborn Care).

 

  • Treatment of neonatal infections  (case management)
  1. Level of care
    1. Home/community based care (through CHPS) including
    2. Peripheral centers (health centers, clinics, maternity homes)