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Awareness and health care seeking for newborn danger signs among mothers in peri-urban Wardha

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To find out awareness of mothers about newborn danger signs and their health care seeking behavior for sick newborns in the peri urban field practice area of Urban Health Centre in Wardha.


Triangulated study of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (mapping, pair-wise ranking exercise) methods were undertaken. 72 identified mothers of children (0–11 months) in social mapping exercise were interviewed by trained social workers using pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire and by paying house to house visits. The structured questionnaire covered information on newborn danger signs, health care seeking and socio-demographic information. The data was analyzed by using Epi_info software package. A pair-wise ranking exercise for assessment of preferred health care facility for sick newborn was undertaken with the group of purposively selected mothers.


Out of 72 mothers, 29 (40.3%), 16 (22.2%) and 10 (13.9%) identified difficulty in breathing, poor sucking and lethargy/unconsciousness as newborn danger signs respectively. Only 7(9.7%) and 2 (2.8%) identified convulsion and hypothermia as newborn danger signs respectively. About 27 (37.5%) babies were sick during newborn period. About 11(15.3%) and 8 (11.1%) were reported to have poor sucking and difficulty in breathing respectively. All sick newborns with danger signs were taken to the doctor and only two mothers consulted faith healer for treatment.


Considering the poor awareness of mothers regarding newborn danger signs, there is need for raising awareness building which required for early recognition and prompt treatment. Apart from strengthening government health facilities, the capacity of intermediate non government health care providers should be developed for newborn care.

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Correspondence to Pradeep R. Deshmukh.

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Dongre, A.R., Deshmukh, P.R. & Garg, B.S. Awareness and health care seeking for newborn danger signs among mothers in peri-urban Wardha. Indian J Pediatr 76, 691–693 (2009).

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