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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 187-191

Perception of neonatal jaundice among women attending children out patient and immunization clinics of the UPTH Port Harcourt

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt

Correspondence Address:
A U Eneh
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19764672

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BACKGROUND: Neonatal Jaundice (NNJ) is a common disorder worldwide. Early identification and proper management is needed to prevent the serious neurological complications associated with it. OBJECTIVE: To determine the knowledge of the women attending Children Outpatient (CHOP) and Immunization clinics on the causes, treatment and complications of neonatal jaundice. METHOD: Women who brought their children/wards to the immunization/children out patient clinics at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Port Harcourt were interviewed using structured questionaire. RESULTS: There were 255 mothers who participated in the study. Of these 30 (11.8%) have never heard of neonatal jaundice while 225 (88.2%) have heard and only those who have heard were further analyzed. The age range was from 16 to 47 yrs (mean age 27.1 +/- 3.3 years). Median parity was 2. One hundred and twenty two (54.2%) women had tertiary education. One hundred and seventy four (77.3%) correctly defined neonatal jaundice, and in 114 (44.7%) source of information was from health talk in the clinic. Seventy five (33.3%), and 50 (22.2%) erroneously believed that eating too much groundnut in pregnancy and mosquito bite respectively were the main causes while 55 (24.4%) correctly answered that it is due to mismatch of mother and baby's blood. Only a few knew that use of dusting powder on baby's cord, prematurity, and storing baby's clothes in camphor were risk factors for NNJ. One hundred and fourteen (50.7%) and 60 (26.7%), wrongly believed that exposure to sunlight and use of glucose drinks respectively were the main forms of treatment and 50 (22.2%) knew brain damage as a possible complication CONCLUSION: There is still misconception on the causes and risk factors and treatment of neonatal jaundice among our women. Also only a few women are reached by the health talk in the clinics. There is therefore urgent need for massive health enlightenment campaign.

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