The Effect of Community-Based Newborn Care Intervention on Service Utilization for Sick Newborn and Children

  • Agazi Ameha
  • Hailemariam Legesse
  • Mariame Sylla
  • Macoura Oulare
  • Yejimmawerk Ayalew
  • Biruk Tensou
  • Amanuel Birru
  • Lisanu Taddesse
  • Yunis Mussema
  • Abraham Tariku


Introduction: Newborn deaths account for 43% of under-five mortality in Ethiopia, and newborn infection contributes to one third of these deaths. The provision of community-based newborn care services through the Health Extension Program platform is a key strategy to increase the utilization of newborn care services by increasing access near the community. In March 2013, the Ethiopian government launched community based newborn care, through which community health workers are trained, supplied with essential commodities, and supervised on the provision of community based newborn care, including the management of severe newborn infections.

Objective: To assess the effect of CBNC intervention on improving health care-seeking behavior for community newborn and child health services.

Results: The number of sick young infants seen at HPs increased 21-fold after the initiation of community-based newborn care. Managed cases of very severe disease and cases of local bacterial infection increased six-fold and four-fold, respectively. Managed cases of pneumonia and diarrhea showed only slight increases.

Conclusions: Overall, community-based newborn care has improved the health care-seeking behavior of mothers of sick young infants in Ethiopia. However, care-seeking is still low when compared with the numbers of expected cases.

Key words: Sick young infants; sick children; community-based newborn care; care-seeking behavior; pre- and post- community-based newborn care

Original Article