Background: Globally, in 2015 there were an estimated 2.7 million neonatal deaths which represents 45% of all deaths among children under five. In Ethiopia, according to WHO neonatal mortality rate is still high 29 per 1,000 live births. The majority of these new born deaths occur at home where a few families recognize signs of newborn illness and delays in decision to seek care at household level. However, different studies focus mostly on the prevalence of neonatal death and essential newborn care practice disregard of mother’s knowledge about neonatal danger sign and their health care seeking behavior which is one of the critical delays in neonatal illness.
Objective: This study was intended to assess the level of knowledge and health care seeking behavior about WHO recognized neonatal danger signs and associated factors among mothers in Gasera district, Ethiopia.
Methods: A community based cross sectional study design using quantitative supplemented with qualitative methods was conducted from March 12 to April 10, 2017. Stratified multistage sampling and purposive sampling method was used for quantitative to select 501 mothers and qualitative method respectively. Data entering and coding were performed with Epidata 3.1 and analyzed by SPSS version 20 using descriptive, bivariate and multivariate techniques. Thematic qualitative data analysis was also used.
Results: Mothers who had knowledge of neonatal danger signs were found to be 26.0%. The odds of having good knowledge was positively associated with husband’s formal education (AOR=2.33, 95% CI 1.24, 4.53), birth preparedness (AOR=3.04, 95% CI 1.68, 5.52), health extension workers home to home visit (AOR=5.45, 95% CI 2.78, 10.7), receiving family health card (AOR=7.52, 95% CI 4.10, 13.82), PNC follow up (AOR=2.52, 95% CI 1.30, 4.92) and television access (AOR=3.15, 95% CI 1.55, 6.40). About 182(55.8%) of the mother sought medical treatment for their newborn while only 31.3% sought immediate medical treatment within 24 hour. Likewise, the odds of having good health care seeking behavior for neonatal illness was statistically positively associated with maternal knowledge towards neonatal danger sign (AOR=2.56, 95% CI 1.18, 5.54), family income (AOR=2.10, 95% CI 1.15, 3.81), PNC follow up (AOR=2.24, 95% CI 1.24, 4.05), and receiving family health card (AOR=3.04, 95% CI 1.38, 6.70).
Conclusion: This study showed maternal knowledge about neonatal danger signs and health seeking behavior was low. Therefore, intervention modalities focusing on increasing access to PNC service, advocating the use of television, provision and use of integrated family health booklet for health information, and HEWs home to home visit was recognized.
Published Date: 2021-10-02; Received Date: 2021-09-09