Small and sick newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic: Global survey and thematic analysis of healthcare providers’ voices and experiencesThis paper explores the experiences of neonatal health care providers caring for small and sick newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey in three languages was used to collect data on COVID-19 preparedness, effects on health personnel and on newborn care services, including kangaroo mother care (KMC), as well as disruptors and solutions. There were 1120 responses from 62 countries, mainly low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Preparedness for COVID-19 was suboptimal in terms of guidelines and availability of personal protective equipment. One-third reported routine testing of all pregnant women, but 13% had no testing capacity at all. More than 85% of health personnel feared for their own health and 89% had increased stress. Newborn care practices were disrupted both due to reduced care-seeking and a compromised workforce. More than half reported that evidence-based interventions such as KMC were discontinued or discouraged. Separation of the mother–baby dyad was reported for both COVID-positive mothers (50%) and those with unknown status (16%). Follow-up care was disrupted primarily due to families’ fear of visiting hospitals (~73%).
• Misalignment of global COVID-19 breastfeeding and newborn care guidelines with World Health Organization recommendations
Organization: COVID-19 Small and Sick Newborn Care Collaborative Group, et al
Web link: https://gh.bmj.com/content/6/3/e004347