A study by Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) indicates that many mother do not s how to clean a baby’s umbilical cord after birth.
As a result many avoidable infections and deaths due to sepsis occurs, the study found.
In a study conducted in Nyandarua County on women who had delivered at JM Kariuki Hospital revealed that all the women interviewed had no skills in cord care and didn’t perform correct cord care practices.
It was conducted to establish the possible causes of increased incidences of neonatal sepsis at the hospital’s pediatric ward.
It revealed that six out 10 mothers didn’t perform good practices of washing the baby and 17 per cent didn’t wash the baby.
“From the interviews, 100 percent of the mothers had no skills in cord care and thus, didn’t perform correct cord care practices. Some 33 per cent had knowledge of correct cord care while 67 per cent didn’t perform good practices of washing the baby,” states the study.
The study found 34 percent of the cords had staphylococcus aureus (causes skin and soft tissue infections such as boils), 33 per cent had streptococci (causes throat and skin infection) while 16.6 per cent had pseudomonas growth (spread to people in health care settings and can cause serious infections).
Further it found, on the 10 nurses aged between 30 and 51 years interviewed on cord care practices, 20 percent said they did not apply anything on the cord, 20 per cent used surgical spirit while 20 per cent were not aware of the current updates.
Noting there was no uniform way of cord care among nurses, Kemri, recommended recommend that the pediatrician assists in the formulation of standard operating procedures for cord care and sensitization on the best practice of cord care should also be done to all health care workers
Further it recommended that all mothers be shown how to clean cords before discharge.