Dominic O. Osaghae and Emmanuel A. Amuabunos
Neonatal tetanus is a serious but preventable disea se of the newborn. The WHO has been coordinating efforts aimed at the elimination of the disease glo bally by reducing the incidence of NNT to less than one case per 1000 live births in every district of the world. Despite the efforts, the disease is stil l highly prevalent in Nigeria as the country is among the na tions that contribute about 90% of cases of neonata l tetanus in the world. The aim of the study was to i dentify the educational status of mothers as a contributing factor in the causation of NNT. The re cords of all hospital admissions of newborns with diagnosis of tetanus from January 2006 to December 2009 were reviewed and relevant data extracted from the records included age and educational statu s of the mothers, sites of antenatal care and delivery and modes of cord care. The extracted data were subjected to descriptive analysis. Twenty one cases of NNT were admitted during the period, inclu ding 9 males and 12 females with a mean age of 6.9 days. Eighteen mothers or 86% had no formal educati on or read up to primary school level. None of the mothers had post secondary education. Most of the m others delivered in unorthodox facilities and utilized non proprietary products for cord care. Low educational attainment of mothers is a major socia l factor in the development of NNT because the risk f actors appear to revolve around it.
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