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Tanzan Health Res Bull. 2005 Sep;7(3):185-8.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of a clean delivery kit intervention in preventing cord infection and puerperal sepsis among neonates and their mothers in rural Mwanza Region, Tanzania.

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National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania


A study was carried out in Misungwi and Kwimba Districts, Tanzania to determine the effectiveness of clean delivery kits in preventing cord infection and puerperal sepsis and to provide qualitative information on community acceptability, correct use, and appropriateness of the kits. This study involved pregnant women aged 18-45 years old. In the delivery kit intervention population, the Maternal and Child Health Aide (MCHA) assigned to the health facility provided pregnant mothers with a clean delivery kit on their first antenatal visit. She explained how to use each of the kit components, with the aid of pictorial instructions included in the kit. The pregnant mothers were asked to convey the information to whoever assisted them during delivery. The MCHA also gave them health education based on the principles of the "six cleans" recognized by WHO (i.e., clean hands, clean perineum, clean delivery surface, clean cord cutting and tying instruments, clean cutting surface). Women received the clean delivery kit free of charge in accordance with the randomised stepped-wedge design schedule. During the first week following delivery, the Village Health Workers (VHWs) from both the intervention and control groups made two visits to the households of mothers who had delivered. They administered questionnaire about delivery to mother and birth attendant. During the two scheduled postpartum visits, those who were suspected to have puerperal sepsis or cord infection of the baby were referred to the health facility clinician for confirmation. Results indicated that use of clean delivery kit had a positive effect on reducing both cord infection and puerperal sepsis. The use of a clean home delivery kit coupled with an educational intervention about the "six cleans" had a significant effect on reducing the incidence of cord infection and puerperal sepsis among women enrolled in the study. In low resource settings where home birth is common and clean delivery supplies are scarce, disposable kits can be made available through health clinics, markets, pharmacies or other channels to help reduce rates of infection.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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