Knowledge, attitude and treatment preferences for neonatal sepsis in Ntchisi District

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Public Health
Title Knowledge, attitude and treatment preferences for neonatal sepsis in Ntchisi District
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 0-0
URL Kakhobwe Hara_MPH_Thesis_approved.pdf
Neonatal sepsis remains the most leading cause of neonatal death in Malawi. The Malawi Ministry of Health strongly advocates for early health seeking behaviors amongst care takers of sick neonates with the aim of improving treatment outcome. Community response to this call is however low and little work has being done to research on the reasons why response to the call is minimal. This dissertation assessed knowledge, attitudes and treatment preferences for presumptive signs of neonatal sepsis in Chikweni and Nguluwe communities in Ntchisi district.
The study used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Data was collected through individual interviews with women who had given birth within the past year and were attending immunization clinic, key informant interviews with TBAs and health service providers and focus group discussions. SPSS was used for analyzing the quantitative data. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. Out of the 284 women that were approached for interviews, 247 (86%) responded and finished the interviews.
This study has shown that neonatal deaths are a common health problem in this area. Most neonatal deaths occur at home. Knowledge levels for presumptive signs of neonatal sepsis are low. Less than 40% (82/247) mentioned two danger signs that they would recognize as dangerous in a neonate. Traditional treatment is the most preferred type of treatment versa health center treatment even for signs such as distended abdomen, bulging fontanel. Delays characterize health seeking behavior for sick neonates in this community. Fifty nine percent (32/54) of the neonates that were taken to the health facility did so after a day or more than a day had passed. Socio-cultural factors play a bigger role in influencing treatment preferences for sick neonates. It is therefore recommended that the Government of Malawi should work towards raising awareness of neonatal sepsis in this community and the availability of health
center treatment for such conditions.

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