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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Italian Journal of Pediatrics 1/2018

Does antenatal care service quality influence essential newborn care (ENC) practices? In Bahir Dar City Administration, North West Ethiopia: a prospective follow up study

Italian Journal of Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Tadese Ejigu Tafere, Mesganaw Fanthahun Afework, Alemayehu Worku Yalew
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13052-018-0544-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The neonatal period is only 1/60th of the first 5 years of life but it accounts for 63% of all infant deaths and 44% of all under-five deaths in Ethiopia. Most causes of neonatal death are preventable with clean cord care, temperature control by delaying first bath and initiation of early breastfeeding which has additional benefit of controlling hypothermia. Poor positive pressure ventilation (PPV) with ambubag is also another essential neborn care practice to reduce neonatal death even though it was not the focus of this study with the assumption that it cannot be measured only by exit interview (needs direct observation about the procedure).
This study was aimed to assess the link between quality of ANC service and implementation of essential newborn care practices among pregnant women attending ANC at public health facilities of BDR City Administration.


A facility based prospective follow up study was conducted and 970 pregnant women with gestational age ≤ 16 weeks who came for their first ANC visit were enrolled. Women were followed from their first ANC visit until 6 weeks after delivery. Longitudinal data was collected during consultation with ANC providers using structured observation checklist and exit interview was also carried out at 6 weeks after birth when they came to immunize their child to assess the essential newborn care practices that their babies received. ANC service was considered as acceptable quality if women received ≥75th percentile of the essential ANC services. Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) was carried out to control cluster effect among women who received ANC in the same facility.


The composite essential newborn care practice indices were 13.7%, with 95% CI (11.3%, 16.2%) and 86.3%, with 95% CI (83.8%, 88.7%) for good and poor essential new born care practices respectively. Of those who received acceptable ANC quality and un acceptable ANC quality 24.7% and 9.6% had good essential newborn care practice respectively (X2 = 31.668, p < 0.000).


Most neonatal interventions are not reaching newborns, indicating a “policy-to practice gap”. It is crucial that maternal knowledge about essential newborn care need to start before the baby’s birth with an effective educational plan.
Quality ANC service is a facilitator for essential newborn care practice. To improve newborn survival, newborn care should be integrated into the current maternal and child health interventions, and should be promoted both at community and health facility level as part of a universal coverage strategy.
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