Maternal Knowledge and Awareness of Neonatal Jaundice in Term Neonates admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Tamale Teaching Hospital


  • Alhassan Abdul-Mumin
  • Emmanuel Abem Owusu
  • Paul Mwindekuma Wondoh
  • Stephen Tabiri


Neonatal jaundice, Maternal knowledge, Awareness, Risk factors


Newborn jaundice is a common presentation in the first week of life. In its severe form it can lead to both mortality and long-term disability. Knowledge and awareness on this condition has been shown to vary according to the setting. In this cross-sectional study, we interviewed mothers of babies admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with jaundice in order to document their knowledge and awareness. We also documented comorbidities in the neonates that could predispose them to severe jaundice. Of the 786 babies admitted over the period, 76 (9.7%) had jaundice. Majority (n=44, 57.9%) were male, of normal birth weight (n=63, 90%) and delivered in a health care facility (n=61, 80.2%). The maternal awareness on jaundice (n=13, 17.1%) and ability to detect the condition (n =9, 11.8%) were low. Neonatal sepsis was the most common risk factor (n=52, 68.4%), followed by ABO blood group incompatibility (n=11, 14.5%) and G6PD defect (n=8, 10.5%). More than 70% (n=54) of babies had total serum bilirubin >_ 25 mg/dl at presentation. Maternal knowledge and awareness in our cohort was low although most of the babies had major risk factors for developing severe jaundice.