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The Profile, Health Seeking Behavior, Referral Patterns, and Outcome of Outborn Neonates Admitted to a District and Regional Hospital in the Upper West Region of Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study

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Department of Community Health, University of Ghana Medical School, P.O. Box 4236, Accra, Ghana
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Public Health Department, Tamale Teaching Hospital, P.O. Box, TL 16, Tamale, Ghana
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Upper West Regional Hospital, P.O. Box 6, Wa, Ghana
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School of Medical Science, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2020, 7(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/children7020015
Received: 11 January 2020 / Revised: 9 February 2020 / Accepted: 13 February 2020 / Published: 18 February 2020
Neonatal mortality is the major contributor to under-five mortality rates in many low and middle income countries. We examined the health practices, care-seeking behavior, and referral of sick outborn neonates to a district and regional hospital in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The study was a cross-sectional study conducted over an eight (8) month period in 2018. Data were obtained from caregiver interviews and case notes. Altogether, 153 outborn neonates were examined. Inappropriate practices including the use of enemas, cord care with cow dung, and herbal baths were found. Three babies treated this way died. The majority of caregivers sought care at a health facility. However, 67 (44%) sought care only after their babies were ill for ≥7 days, suggesting the influence of a period of confinement on health seeking. More than half, 94 (61.4%), of the facilities visited referred patients to destination hospitals without giving any treatment. Delayed care-seeking was associated with a low birth weight, using home remedies, and a maternal age of ≥30 years. Altogether, 12 neonates (7.8%) died, consisting of three males and nine females (p = 0.018). Socio-cultural factors strongly influence health seeking behavior and the health outcome of neonates in this setting. There appeared to be a limited repertoire of interventions for treating neonatal disease in primary care. View Full-Text
Keywords: health seeking; socio-cultural; referral pattern; neonate; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); newborn health seeking; socio-cultural; referral pattern; neonate; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); newborn
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Tette, E.M.A.; Nuertey, B.D.; Azusong, E.A.; Gandau, N.B. The Profile, Health Seeking Behavior, Referral Patterns, and Outcome of Outborn Neonates Admitted to a District and Regional Hospital in the Upper West Region of Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study. Children 2020, 7, 15.

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