Hygiene During Childbirth: An Observational Study to Understand Infection Risk in Healthcare Facilities in Kogi and Ebonyi States, Nigeria
Infections acquired during labour and delivery are a significant cause of maternal and child morbidity and mortality. Adherence to hand hygiene protocols is a critical component of infection prevention strategies, but few studies have closely examined the hand hygiene of health care providers with sufficient detail to understand infection risks and prioritize prevention strategies. : This observational study was conducted in six healthcare facilities in Nigeria. In each, five women were observed from the onset of labour through to delivery of the placenta. Hand hygiene infection risk was estimated for all procedures requiring aseptic technique compared against adherence to proper hand hygiene protocol and potential recontamination events. This study highlights that hand hygiene remains a barrier to delivering high-quality and safe care in health facilities. Improving hygiene practices during labour and delivery will require strategies that extend beyond infrastructure provision.