Affiliations: Maternal and Newborn Health Programme-Research and Advocacy Fund, Islamabad, Pakistan | Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA | Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Note:  Corresponding author: Z.A. Memon, Maternal and Newborn Health Programme, Research and Advocacy Fund, Islamabad, Pakistan. Tel.: +92 51 8317967 8; Fax: +92 51 2610984; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Of annual four million neonatal deaths, majority in the developing world, approximately three-quarters die within the first week of life. Pakistan has one of the highest newborn mortality rates. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a cross sectional study to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of women of reproductive age in rural Pakistan. RESULTS: Of 1490 mothers interviewed, prevalence of newborn care practices ranged between 32% (early bathing of newborn) and 69% (use of traditional cord applications). Uptake of antenatal care services was identified as a strong predictor of good newborn care after controlling for skilled birth attendance, socio-economic status, age of mother and sex of infant (OR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.00–1.57). CONCLUSIONS: The association of uptake of antenatal care services with good newborn care highlights the necessity to improve coverage of services with the integration of counseling about newborn care in order to reduce the burden of neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Keywords: Maternal health, newborn health, developing country, antenatal care, Pakistan