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Benard Kasanga David Eunice Muthoni Mwangi Musa Oluoch


Introduction: Globally, new born mortality remains unacceptably high. Neonatal mortality accounts for 60% of infant mortality rate in Kenya. In Makueni County, 1 in 22 children does not live to his or her first birth day. This unacceptable high mortality is despite existence of cheap and tested interventions which could reduce up to 70% of current deaths. Evidence of mismanagement of clients in the County health facilities has raised concerns whether health workers attending to mothers and neonates are knowledgeable. The purpose of this study was to determine health worker knowledge on maternal and neonatal health related to service delivery in Makueni County. Specific objectives were to determine prenatal care, pre-eclampsia and postnatal care knowledge among primary care givers and how it relates to service delivery. Methods: we used a cross sectional research design. A total of 163 health workers selected through simple random sampling were involved. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and observational checklist. Results: On prenatal care, majority of health workers (89, 54.6%) had good knowledge (x²=45.1 p<0.05). Practice didn’t conform to guidelines since 30.3% and 69.7% of antenatal mothers didn’t have full history taken and general physical examination done respectively. On pre-eclampsia, majority of caregivers (78, 49.4%) had poor knowledge while on postnatal care (53, 32.5%), (58, 37.4%) and (132, 80%) had good knowledge in new-born care, management of neonatal infections and young infant feeding respectively. Conclusions: The study concluded that health workers were not following guidelines and lacked adequate knowledge in management of pre-eclampsia, new-born care and neonatal infections. Recommendations: The study recommends the following to Makueni County health managers (i) to have refresher course, targeted continuous medical education and standard operating procedure on management of pre-eclampsia (ii) to strengthen supportive supervision and ensure guidelines are adhered to (iii) to retrain workers on new-born care and management of neonatal infections.  

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