Health staff’s experiences with training and implementation of early essential newborn care in two provinces in Vietnam
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Background: Infant- and neonatal mortality are decreasing in a slower pace than under-five mortality. Early essential newborn care are guidelines describing how childbirth and newborn care should be performed to prevent morbidity and mortality. The thesis will describe the Department of Health supported training and implementation of early essential newborn care, conducted in collaboration with Alive & Thrive. The main objective is to gain insight into health staff’s attitudes and experiences about challenges and benefits regarding training and implementation. Methods: In-depth interviews based on a semi-structured interview guide were conducted with health staff working in Alive & Thrive supported hospitals in Quang Nam and Da Nang in Vietnam. Health staff (n=21) were recruited from eight health facilities by convenience sampling. Descriptive data were reported to Alive & Thrive by hospitals receiving their support, covering the period from January 2015 to December 2017. Data on percentages of newborns receiving immediate skin-to-skin contact and early initiation of breastfeeding were analyzed. Results: Health staff’s experiences about training and implementation of early essential newborn care and increased execution rates, indicate that training is necessary. Health staff experience several benefits from implementing the practice. Challenges, such as staff shortage and barriers when applying the practice were identified. For successful implementation, a working environment facilitating early essential newborn care, health staff adapting the practice as a routine, and increased knowledge among mothers were perceived essential. Conclusion: To address health staff behaviors related to birth attendance, capacity building is necessary. Despite challenges, training of health staff increases the percentage of newborns receiving early essential newborn care, and implementation brings positive impact on health staff, mothers, and newborns. The demand to receive early essential newborn care is increasing, and implementation is a lifesaving opportunity.
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