Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

Chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care

Welcome to the chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care topic page. This page provides the latest news, resources, multimedia and blogs on the use of chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care—a safe and effective intervention to prevent neonatal infection. This intervention is low cost and can be integrated into existing newborn care programs and platforms.

Browse the HNN Technical Resource page on chlorhexidine to find resources, guidelines and tools aimed to support program managers, policymakers and stakeholders in countries where early implementation of chlorhexidine is possible. 

Countries have made progress in the implementation of this intervention. Learn about programmatic experiences to date, and check out some recent highlights:


  • May 2014: In the district of Mahabo, 80% of women are giving birth at home in precarious conditions. This elevates the newborn baby's risk of infection, especially in the moments after the cutting of the umbilical cord. Arofoitra, a locally produced antiseptic gel for use on the umbilical cord, gives new hope to mothers and babies. Click the image below to view the video from PSI.


  • March 2014: A Nigerian company, Drugfield Pharmaceuticals Ltd, was granted regulatory approval to produce chlorhexidine gel. Read the press release here.

  • February 2014: A delegation of Nigerian stakeholders traveled to Nepal to learn about the success of their chlorhexidine program to prevent newborn infection. Click here to read a blog on the learning visit and watch the short video:


Nepal has become a leader among low-resource countries in the use of chlorhexidine to ensure that a newborn’s umbilical cord is cleansed properly immediately after birth. Ten years after the initial trial of chlorhexidine in Nepal’s Banke district, mothers are now being provided the gel, at no cost, in 36 of Nepal’s 75 districts. 

Click on the tabs below or navigate to the Technical Resource Page to download tools, guidelines, power points and more.