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Prevention of Neonatal Hypothermia: A Skin-to-Skin Practices Education Project in Rural Uganda

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Abstract:

PURPOSE: In low resource areas, neonatal hypothermia is an important source of neonatal morbidity. Separating newborns from their mothers at birth puts neonates at risk for hypothermia. The Teso Safe Motherhood Project (TSMP) in Soroti, Uganda provides birth center care for women in conflict areas of Northern Uganda. After conducting a needs assessment at TSMP, a continuing education project was developed to facilitate change in clinical practice to enhance prevention and recognition of neonatal hypothermia, including implementation of skin-to-skin practices at birth.

STUDY DESIGN: This education project employed multiple learning strategies including pretest and posttest questionnaires, group discussion of cultural beliefs and practices, didactic education, participation in creative informational art, and demonstration, supervision, and return demonstration of skills.

MAJOR FINDINGS: At the completion of the program, 100% of participants demonstrated a statistically significant increase in both knowledge and skills in the prevention and management of neonatal hypothermia (p = .011).

MAIN CONCLUSION: The participants reported that this continuing education project enhanced their skills in neonatal hypothermia prevention and management. The cost-effective strategies employed in this project can be replicated in low resource settings, contributing to decreased mortality and morbidity from newborn hypothermia.

Keywords: CONTINUING EDUCATION; NEONATAL HYPOTHERMIA; NEWBORN THERMOREGULATION; SKIN-TO-SKIN; UGANDA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/2156-5287.4.1.17

Publication date: 2014-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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