Fighting Newborn Infection: Chlorhexidine in Rural Nepal

Chlorhexidine (CHX) cord cleansing has been recently tested in high mortality settings, and provides an evidence-based approach to managing newborn infections, particularly in settings where hygiene conditions represent an important infection risk for newborns.

Community-based trials in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan found CHX cord cleansing reduces the risk of newborn death by up to 23 percent and eliminates up to three-quarters of serious umbilical infections.

The use of CHX is being recognized as an efficacious, acceptable, feasible and cost-effective newborn care intervention. The widespread practice of CHX cord cleansing could prevent more than 200,000 newborn deaths each year in South Asia.

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