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J Trop Pediatr. 2014 Jun;60(3):238-44. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmu005. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Neonatal care practices in a tribal community of Odisha, India: a cultural perspective.

Author information

1
Academics Indian Institute of Public Health- Bhubaneswar, Public Health Foundation of India, Patia, Bhubaneswar 751024, Odisha, India drsanghamitra12@gmail.com sanghamitra.pati@iiphb.org.
2
Research International Clinical Epidemiology Network, New Delhi 110020, India.
3
Programme RCH Division, UNICEF-Odisha, Mayurbhanj, Odisha 757043, India.
4
Academics Indian Institute of Public Health- Bhubaneswar, Public Health Foundation of India, Patia, Bhubaneswar 751024, Odisha, India.
5
Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland Herston, Brisbane 4006, Australia.

Abstract

Neonatal care practices have been shown to vary across tribal communities. This cross-sectional study was conducted in tribal block in Nabarangpur district of Odisha, India, to measure perinatal and antenatal practices by qualitative inquiries of 55 mothers who had babies aged <60 days and from 11 traditional birth attendants. Reasons for home deliveries were cited as easy availability of traditional birth attendants and family preferences. Application of indigenously made substances on umbilical stump and skin of the baby, bathing baby immediately after birth, late initiation of breast-feeding and 'Budu practices' were common. Cultural issues, decision of family members and traditional beliefs still play a crucial role in shaping neonatal care practice in tribal communities. Awareness on child care, ethnographic understanding of health-seeking behavior of tribal community and mobilization of community by health workers can be useful in improving health status of mothers and newborn babies in tribal population.

KEYWORDS:

Odisha; cultural practices; newborn care; traditional belief; tribal community

PMID:
24519674
DOI:
10.1093/tropej/fmu005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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