Factors Influencing Umbilical Cord Care Practices Among Mothers Attending Infant Welfare Clinic in Selected Primary Healthcare Centres


Factors Influencing Umbilical Cord Care Practices Among Mothers Attending Infant Welfare Clinic in Selected Primary Healthcare Centres in Jos-north Local Government Area, Plateau State


In Nigeria, just like in other developing countries, umbilical cord infections contribute significantly to neonatal morbidity and mortality. The increasing number of mothers returning to the health care facility with umbilical cord complications especially omphalitis in newborns makes this study in the state necessary. The study determined the factors influencing umbilical cord care practices of mothers attending infant welfare clinic in selected primary health care centres in Jos-North Local Government Area, Plateau State.

A descriptive cross – sectional design involving one hundred and seventy (170) respondents selected using simple random method, self-developed questionnaire and interview guide (Explanatory method) were used. The validated instrument (Cronbach’s alpha of .760) was filled voluntarily by the respondents and returned. Data collected were analyzed and presented as descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS v21 at critical value of 0.05 as the level of significance.

Findings of the study revealed that majority of the respondents 66(38.8%) were between 20-29 years, 102(60%) were Christians, 100(58.8%) had monthly income below 10,000, 90(52.9%) had 4-6 number of children, 151(88.8%) were Hausa, and 100(58.8) had primary education. Majority of the respondents (90.5%) had adequate knowledge with mean scoreof = 1.1647 had good practice with mean score of = 1.2059 and majority of the respondents 121(71.2%) cover the umbilical cord loosely with clean cloths and 96(56.5%) practice two hourly cord care. Regarding substance/materials used by mothers, majority (75.9%) of mothers used methylated spirit and cotton wool, (58.8%) used string of cloth, (54.1%) used herbal solution and (45.3%) used new blade for cord care. There is significant relationship between maternal monthly income (p-value .001), level of education (p-value .000) and cultural and traditional beliefs (p-value .037) while occupation (p-value .460) and maternal parity (.054)does not influence umbilical cord care practice with variation of 16.8% and positive correlation of 0.410. Maternal income and level of education with negative low correlation of (-0.218, p-value of 0.016) and (-0.296, p-value of 0.000) is likely to reduce good core practice.

In conclusion, it is necessary to empower women so as to help them make decisions and become independent as maternal monthly income, level of education and knowledge influence umbilical cord care practices. Based on the findings, the study recommends that health care personnel should organize health education programs for women during antenatal postnatal visit and also training and re-training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) on hygienic cord care practices as well as monitoring and supervision of their delivery practices. Introduction and use of chlorhexidine gel for cord care in health care facilities by health care personnel. Government should ensure that public enlightenment program on hygienic cord care practices, the importance of tetanus vaccine to all child bearing age women, advantages of hospital delivery and the implication of cultural practices on health are carried out also regular and continuous provision of health facilities, logistics, equipment and skilled manpower to facilitate access to mothers.

Keywords: Practice, Mothers, Umbilical Cord Care, Assess, Newborn

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