This study, conducted by the Provincial Health Development Centre (PHDC)
Sindh, adapted the UNICEF/WHO designed questionnaire for collecting data
on Eight Key Family Practices, pertaining to appropriate antenatal care,
exclusive breastfeeding, immunization of mother and neonate, homecare
for illness including continuous breastfeeding during illness, home
treatment of infections, health care seeking, and compliance for
prescribed treatment, and adequate hygienic and sanitary practices.
The data was collected in the Malir, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar,
Naushahro Feroze and Jacobabad districts in the province of Sindh that
included from mothers of neonates of 28 or less days. Some 813 mothers
participated in the study.
Conclusions and Recommendations
1. Several healthy practices have been reported by the study
population, including: use of fluids during illness, particularly in
diarrhoea; hand washing after using toilet and assisting a child in
defecation; exclusive breast feeding; and utilization of Skilled Birth
Attendants for deliveries etc. These positive practices require
re-enforcing by the health care providers during lane sessions, health
education meetings and individual interactions, and also by National
MNCH Programme through print and electronic media.
There are behaviours and practices among health care providers,
mothers and family members which need to be modified including:
unnecessary use of iron and blood infusions for treating anaemia instead
of promoting healthy dietary habits; gratuitous C-section practices; the
restriction of nutritious food during pregnancy; and the late decision
of mothers and family members to seek outside treatment for the neonate
if needed. It is recommended that specific protocol having standard
classification system, particularly for appropriate mode of delivery and
rationale use of drugs and infusions should be developed and
Female autonomy in decision making for seeking the health care for
herself and her neonate has also emerged strongly in this study. This
might have resulted due to overall socioeconomic development and
cultural change. This positive development needs further promotion and
re-enforcement through BCC/IEC campaigns in order to ensure timely
provision of health care if a prompt decision is required for outside
treatment in case of an emergency.
The study has generated important information which should be owned
and capitalized by Maternal, New-born and Child Health Programme,
National Programme on Family Planning and PHC, and the Provincial and
Regional ministries of health. The challenge, however, lies in
re-establishing the culture of promoting key family practices focused in
Anon. Baseline survey of eight key family practices in Sindh. June 2010-June 2011. Provincial Health Development Centre Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan (2012) 118 pp.
Baseline survey of eight key family practices in Sindh. June 2010-June 2011.