What mothers know about neonatal danger signs: A Cross Sectional Study of Ethiopia

Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, Jimma Institute of Health, Jimma University, Jimma Ethiopia

2 Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar Ethiopia

3 Department of Emergency Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar Ethiopia


Background: Neonatal danger signs contribute to the high mortality of neonates in developing countries. Delays in recognition of danger signs and the decision to seek care contribute to most neonatal deaths in Ethiopia. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess mothers’ knowledge and associated factors on neonatal danger signs in Nekemte town, Western Ethiopia.
Methods: The current community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Nekemte, Ethiopia, in March 2019. The sample included 727 mothers who had given birth within the past 12 months. A multistage sampling technique was utilized to recruit participants and data were collected using face-to-face interviews. The collected data were entered into EPI info (version and analyzed using SPSS (version 23). To evaluate the knowledge of neonatal danger signs, a median score was used as the cut-off point. Mothers who spontaneously mentioned at least five danger signs were considered to have good knowledge of neonatal danger signs. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with knowledge of danger signs.
Results: Of 727 participants, 707 mothers were interviewed, yielding a response rate of 98.3%. The median age of the participants was 27  years, with an interquartile range of ± 5. The result of the study indicated that 55.6% [95%CI (52.1% - 59.3%)] of mothers had good knowledge of neonatal danger signs. The adds ratio of having good knowledge of neonatal danger signs were associated with being married [AOR=2.87, 95%CI (1.27, 6.52)], mother’s educational status of secondary level or higher [AOR= 1.71, 95%CI (1.03, 2.84)], antenatal care visits of four and more [AOR=1.58, 95%CI (1.09, 2.31)], and postnatal follow-up [AOR=2.13, 95%CI (1.39, 3.27)]. Furthermore, delivery at health institutions [AOR=3.11, 95%CI (1.10, 8.76)], access to TV [AOR=1.58, 95%CI (1.05, 2.37)], and Internet use [AOR=2.39, 95%CI (1.52, 3.77)] were also significantly associated with good knowledge.
Conclusion: The proportion of mothers with good knowledge of neonatal danger signs was found to be low. Therefore, it is recommended to enhance counseling services during antenatal care and strengthen  community-based health information dissemination efforts related to neonatal danger signs.


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