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In rural Cambodia newborns risk infections both in health centres and at home because hygiene is poor and water and sanitation facilities are unsafe. Handwashing promotion is key to keep newborns healthy.

TitleEnvironmental factors and WASH practices in the perinatal period in Cambodia : implications for newborn health
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBazzano, AN, Oberhelman, RA, K. Potts, S, Gordon, A, Var, C
Secondary TitleInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Date Published02/2015
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordschild health, health care, hospitals, infants, mortality, research, surveys, water-related diseases

Infection contributes to a significant proportion of neonatal death and disability worldwide, with the major burden occurring in the first week of life. Environmental conditions and gaps in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices may contribute to the risk of infection, particularly in settings where health centers are expanding to meet the growing demand for skilled care at birth and homes do not have adequate access to water and sanitation. A qualitative approach was used to understand the environmental context for infection prevention and control (IPC) and WASH associated behaviors in health centers where women give birth, and in homes of newborns, in a rural Cambodian province. Structured observations and focus group discussions revealed important gaps in optimal practices, and both structural and social barriers to maintaining IPC during delivery and post-partum. Solutions are available to address the issues identified, and tackling these could result in marked environmental improvement for quality of care and neonatal outcomes. Water, sanitation and hygiene in home and health center environments are likely to be important contributors to health and should be addressed in strategies to improve neonatal survival. (author abstract)


Incl. 36 references





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