Reducing neonatal infections: learning the views of healthcare providers to inform improvement programs
Infection causes neonatal mortality in both high- and low- income countries. While simple interventions to prevent neonatal infection are available, they are often poorly understood and implemented by clinicians. The study’s aim was to explore the views of healthcare providers in provincial hospitals in south and south central Vietnam in order to improve current practices.
Fifty-four participants were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire identifying their priorities for improving neonatal infection prevention and control in provincial hospitals in south and south central Vietnam. Hand washing, exclusive breastfeeding and safe disposal of medical waste were nominated by most participants as priorities for preventing neonatal infections. A smaller proportion advocated for education through instructional posters and written guidelines, family contact, Kangaroo Mother Care, limitation of invasive procedures, and screening for maternal GBS (bacterial) infection.
The study found that the providers’ opinions accurately reflect some of the current international recommendations for infection prevention; however, other important recommendations were not commonly identified by participants and need to be reinforced. The results will be used to design interventions to improve infection prevention in Vietnam, and may be relevant for other low-resource countries.