Research Article

Effectiveness of different cord care interventions on omphalitis prevention among neonates in Nakuru County Hospital, Kenya

Lucy Kinanu*, James Mwaura, Anne Karani and Margaret Chege

Published: 05 May, 2022 | Volume 5 - Issue 1 | Pages: 015-021

Background: Sepsis among newborns is common and a major cause of neonatal deaths in developing countries. Annually, about 4 million neonatal deaths occur around the world. Of these, more than 30% are caused by infections majority of which start as umbilical cord infections. Topical umbilical cord care can reduce omphalitis (umbilical cord infection) and neonatal mortality among newborns.
Objective: This study aimed to compare the incidence of omphalitis in different cord care interventions (Dry, Chlorhexidine, and Alcohol) in Nakuru County, Kenya. 
Methodology: A randomized controlled trial was carried out between July 2018 and June 2019. A total of 540 newborns were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 3 cord care regimens; twice cord cleansing with 4% chlorhexidine (Group 1), twice cord cleansing with 70% alcohol (Group 2), and dry cord care (Group 3) as control. 
Results: The risk of omphalitis was significantly reduced in the chlorhexidine group than in dry and alcohol cord care groups. The incidence of omphalitis was 1.95 times more likely to occur among the dry cord care group [AOR = 1.95; 95% CI = 1.13-3.38; p = 0.017] compared to the chlorhexidine group. Similarly, babies in the alcohol group were nearly 2 times more likely to develop omphalitis [AOR = 1.98; 95% CI = 1.15-33.40; p = 0.014] compared to those in the chlorhexidine group.
Conclusion and recommendation: Chlorhexidine topical cord care significantly reduces the risk of umbilical infection in neonates when compared to both topical alcohol application and dry cord care approach. It should be recommended to be used topically for the prevention of omphalitis in our setup.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.japch.1001046 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Alcohol; Chlorhexidine; Dry care; Omphalitis; Topical umbilical cord care


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