Date of Conferral





Public Health


John Nemecek


Although efforts have been made towards improving the health of children across the globe with notable results, neonatal tetanus (NNT) remains a major contributor to the neonatal death rates in Nigeria. This problem calls for a concerted effort by the government to achieve the revised global NNT elimination deadline of 2015. The purpose of this cross-sectional quantitative study using secondary data was to establish the prevalence of NNT in Nigeria's northeast region and to ascertain if there was any significant difference in frequency of antenatal care (ANC), trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs), and umbilical cord treatments, using single sample proportions test and chi-squared tests of independence. The framework for this research was the theory of planned behavior. The participants (N = 312) were mothers of NNT babies. In spite a continual decline in the NNT cases between 2010 (26%) and 2013 (9%), the prevalence rate of NNT was unacceptably high at 28.815%. Also, significant differences existed as mothers who gave birth to NNT babies received significantly fewer or no ANC (p < 0.001), received significantly fewer or no attention from TBAs (p < 0.001), and reported significantly fewer incidences of proper umbilical cord treatments (p < 0.001). The chi-squared tests of independence resulted in significant differences in the frequencies of mothers who received ANC between Nigerian provinces (p < 0.001) and mothers who had their baby's umbilical cord treated (p = 0.005). This study will contribute to social change by guiding health care policy makers and immunization program managers on maternal and newborn health care services and indicate ways to build capacity of the TBAs for safe home delivery/hygienic handling of umbilical cord of newborns.