Lydia Kabwijamu is a Social Scientist with a Masters in Public Health. She has previously worked with projects funded by CIDA, DFID and MOH to improve Maternal and Child health at community and health facility level. Her interest is in maternal, newborn and child health with special attention to adolescents.

Research:

She has completed her study which examined essential newborn care practices and associated factors among adolescent mothers.

 Study Title: Newborn Care Practices among Adolescent Mothers in Hoima District, Western Uganda

 Introduction: Adolescent childbearing remains a major challenge to improving neonatal mortality especially in Sub Saharan countries which are still struggling with high neonatal mortality rates. We explored essential newborn care practices and associated factors among adolescent mothers in Western Uganda.

Methods: Data were collected among 410 adolescent mothers with children aged one to six months in Hoima district. Three composite variables (appropriate neonatal breastfeeding, cord care and thermal protection) were derived by combining related practices from a list of recommended newborn care practices. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify factors independently associated with practice of essential newborn care.

Results: Appropriate newborn feeding, optimal thermal protection and dry cord care were practiced by 60.5%, 67.2% and 31% of adolescent mothers respectively. Independent predictors’ of cord care were: knowledge of cord care (AOR 5.34, 95% CI (1.51–18.84) and having delivered twins (AOR 0.04, 95% CI (0.01–0.22). The only predictor of thermal care was knowledge (AOR 25.15, 95% CI (7.01–90.20). Staying in a hospital for more than one day postpartum (AOR 2.45, 95%CI (1.23–4.86), knowledge of the correct time of breastfeeding initiation (AOR 14.71, 95% CI (5.20–41.58), predicted appropriate neonatal feeding, whereas; adolescent mothers who had had a caesarean delivery (AOR 0.19, 95% CI (I 0.04–0.96) and a male caretaker in the postnatal period (AOR 0.18, 95% CI (0.07–0.49) were less likely to practice the recommended newborn feeding.

Conclusion: Sub optimal essential newborn care practice was noted especially suboptimal cord care. Adolescent mothers should be a focus of strategies to improve maternal and neonatal health