Assessment of utilization of child health services (under RCH program) and incorrect practices related to perinatal events in Jamnagar district, Gujarat, India

Sudip V. Bhavsar, Jitesh P. Mehta, Anirudhha R. Gohel, Nitin Lodha, Dipesh V. Parmar


Background: India contributes to 25% of the over 6.9 million under-five deaths occurring worldwide every year with nearly half of them in neonatal period .This study is related indirectly with the causes of U5MR (e.g. Neonatal sepsis, prematurity-LBW) through focusing on service utilization related to perinatal events & incorrect practices of essential Newborn care (e.g. initiation of breast feeding and exclusive breastfeeding). Objectives: (1) Assess utilization of child health services related to perinatal events (2) Assess incorrect practices related to perinatal events (3) Assess effect of demographic variables on service utilization and association of these variables with practices.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 400 children (12 to 59 months) was done using multistage sampling technique in Jamnagar district. 120 children were selected from urban and 280 from rural areas as urban: rural ratio is 3:7 in India.

Results: 93.55% children having umbilical infection. Birth weights were taken in majority of children (95.75%), 15.83% of those weighed were having low birth weight (LBW). Application on umbilical cord after birth was seen in 10.25% & prelacteal feed in about 1/3rd children. Breastfeeding immediately or within 4 hours after birth was seen in 3/4th, exclusive breastfeeding in 2/3rd children.

Conclusions: Children having umbilical infection were treated indicating better utilization of curative services. Taking of birth weights in majority of children indicating good functioning of healthcare professionals but some of those weighed were having low birth weight (LBW) indicating underutilization of preventive-antenatal services indirectly affecting child health. Incorrect practices like application on umbilical cord after birth and prelacteal feed were seen in children. Recommended practices like breastfeeding immediately or within 4 hours after birth, exclusive breastfeeding were seen in children. Colostrum giving was more prevalent and low birth weight was less prevalent in rural areas compared to urban areas which indicated better health care utilization in rural areas.



Child health, Prelacteal feed, Colostrums, Breastfeeding

Full Text:



Govt. of India. Family Welfare statistics in India. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; 2011.

Govt. of India. Census of India, 2011. Available at:

MOH and FW GOI. Basic guide to reproductive and child program for use by NGO, training institutions and health functionaries. New Delhi: GOI; 1997.

Care Nepal Newsletter. 2010;9(1):24. Available at:

WHO. Country profile India, 2014. Available at: Accessed 2 February 2014.

NRHM. Brief on child health, 2012. Available at: Accessed 4 February 2014.

Lwanga SK, Lemeshow S. Sample size determination in health studies. A Practical Manual. Geneva: WHO; 1991.

Chandwani H. An epidemiological study on acute respiratory infections in under five children of urban, urban slum and rural settings of Jamnagar district, 2004. Available at:

Jain A. Evaluation of coverage of child health services under RCH programme in Jamnagar Municipal Corporation, 2006. Available at:

Govani KJ, Sheth JK, Bala DV. Immunization Status of 12-23 months children in Rural Ahmedabad. Healthline. 2013;4(1):38-42.

Gary L. Darmstadt. Review of domiciliary newborn-care practices in Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr. 2006;24(4):380-93.

Mir F. Incidence and etiology of omphalitis in Pakistan: a community-based cohort study. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2011;5(12):828-33.

Bang AT. The incidence of morbidities in a cohort of neonates in rural Gadchiroli, India: seasonal and temporal variation and a hypothesis about prevention. J Perinatol. 2005;25:S18-28.

Arifeen S, Black RE, Becker S. Exclusive breast feeding reduces acute respiratory infections and diarrheal deaths among infants in Dhaka slums. IJP. 2001;108(4):67.

Al Gambhi SA, Abdul Moneim I. Relationship between breast feeding duration and acute respiratory infections in infants. Saudi Med J. 2001;22(4):347-50.

Shah V. An epidemiological study on diarrheal diseases in urban five children of urban, urban slum and rural settings of Jamnagar district, 2008. Available at:

UNICEF. Coverage evaluation survey. All India Report. India: UNICEF; 2009.

Satishchandra DM. A cross sectional study of utilization pattern of reproductive and child health services in the primary health centre area of Ventamuri. Karnataka, Bangalore: Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences; 2008.

Ludvigsson JF. Breast feeding prevent against diarrhea and ARI. Indian Pediatr. 2004;17(7):607-12