Neonatal mortality has persisted high in Ethiopia in spite of many efforts being applied to decrease this adverse trend. Early detection of neonatal illness is an important step towards improving newborn survival. Toward this end, there is a need for the mothers to be able to identify signs in neonates that signify severe illnesses. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge about neonatal danger signs and its associated factors among postnatal mothers attending at Woldia general hospital, Ethiopian.
Institutional based cross-sectional study design was conducted from January-May, 2017. The hospital that provides antenatal care (ANC), delivery, and postnatal services was purposively sampled. Structured interviewer managed questionnaire was administered to postnatal mothers attending Woldia general hospital. Frequencies, bivariate and multivariate logistic regression were determined using the SPSS software (Version 20).
During the study period 197 mothers attending postnatal care (PNC) service at Woldia general hospital were interviewed. Information on different neonatal danger signs was not provided to 92(46.7%) postnatal mothers during their antenatal clinic attendance by the healthcare providers. The majority of mothers, 174(88.3%) identified less than six neonatal danger signs. The hotness of the body of neonates was the commonly recognized danger sign by 106(53.8%) postnatal mothers. Of the total mothers, 67(34%), 60(30.5%), 56(28.4%), 44(22.3%) recognized unable to breastfeeding, convulsion, lethargy, difficulty in breathing as newly born danger signs, respectively. Out of 197 mothers, 32(16.2%) were giving birth at home. Mother's age(AOR = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.99-3.08), marital status(AOR = 2.50, 95% CI: 0.29-4.31), mother's education status(AOR = 3.48, 95% CI:1.57-8.72), husband's education(AOR = 4.92, 95% CI: 1.29-12.81), attending ANC (AOR = 2.88, 95% CI: 1.15, 4.85), mother's residence(AOR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.47-1.65), information about neonatal danger signs(AOR = 3.48, 95% CI 1.40-9.49) had positive association with maternal level of knowledge to identify different neonatal danger signs.
Maternal knowledge level about neonatal danger signs was very low. Therefore, intervention modalities that focus on increasing level of parental education, access to ANC and PNC service are needed.