Objective: To evaluate the outcome of active involvement of mothers/mother substitutes in day-to-day care of high risk neonates admitted in a level II newborn care unit.
Methods: An observational study was carried out over a period of eleven years incorporating active participation of mothers/substitute in the day to day care of their sick neonates. The outcome is assessed in terms of mortality due to the three major illnesses (asphyxia, sepsis and prematurity) during this phase. The data is compared with that of a similar level II care centre where conventional neonatal care is practised.
Results: There is a significant and sustainable reduction in neonatal mortality due to the three major illnesses when the mothers are also involved in the neonatal care, in spite of a considerable increase in the number of admissions during this period.
Conclusion: The concept of active participation of mother/substitute in neonatal nursery ensures 1:1 care at all times. It is a cheap and effective alternative to inadequacy of bed:nurse ratio (BNR).