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Just-in-time postnatal education programmes to improve newborn care practices: needs and opportunities in low-resource settings
  1. Laura Subramanian1,
  2. Seema Murthy2,
  3. Prasad Bogam2,
  4. Shirley D Yan3,
  5. Megan Marx Delaney1,
  6. Christian D G Goodwin1,
  7. Lauren Bobanski1,
  8. Arjun S Rangarajan3,
  9. Anindita Bhowmik2,
  10. Sehj Kashyap4,
  11. Nikhil Ramnarayan3,
  12. Rebecca Hawrusik1,
  13. Griffith Bell1,5,
  14. Baljit Kaur6,
  15. N Rajkumar7,
  16. Archana Mishra8,
  17. Shahed S Alam3,
  18. Katherine E A Semrau1,9
  1. 1Ariadne Labs, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Aurora Health Innovations, Bengaluru, India
  3. 3Noora Health, San Francisco, California, USA
  4. 4Center for Biomedical Informatics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
  5. 5Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6Directorate of Health Services, Punjab, India
  7. 7Directorate of Health & Family Welfare Services, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  8. 8Directorate of Public Health & Family Welfare, National Health Mission, Madhya Pradesh, India
  9. 9Division of Global Health Equity & Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Laura Subramanian; lsubramanian{at}


Worldwide, many newborns die in the first month of life, with most deaths happening in low/middle-income countries (LMICs). Families’ use of evidence-based newborn care practices in the home and timely care-seeking for illness can save newborn lives. Postnatal education is an important investment to improve families’ use of evidence-based newborn care practices, yet there are gaps in the literature on postnatal education programmes that have been evaluated to date. Recent findings from a 13 000+ person survey in 3 states in India show opportunities for improvement in postnatal education for mothers and families and their use of newborn care practices in the home. Our survey data and the literature suggest the need to incorporate the following strategies into future postnatal education programming: implement structured predischarge education with postdischarge reinforcement, using a multipronged teaching approach to reach whole families with education on multiple newborn care practices. Researchers need to conduct robust evaluation on postnatal education models incorporating these programee elements in the LMIC context, as well as explore whether this type of education model can work for other health areas that are critical for families to survive and thrive.

  • child health
  • health services research
  • public health

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  • Handling editor Seye Abimbola

  • Twitter @noorahealth, @noorahealth, @noorahealth, @noorahealth, @noorahealth, @noorahealth, @noorahealth, @k_semrau

  • Contributors LS is the corresponding author and the lead writer for the manuscript. All authors helped conceptualise the manuscript, critically reviewed manuscript drafts and approved the final manuscript. LS, KS, SSA, SM, PB, SK and NR contributed to the study design and SSA, SM, PB, SK and NR led the implementation of data collection for this manuscript. CDGG conducted the background literature review for the manuscript with guidance from LS and MMD. GB and RH conducted the analyses of the survey data presented in the manuscript.

  • Funding AL staff was funded by a grant from Noora Health for this work. NH is supported by private philanthropic donors, foundations and corporate giving. Aurora Health Innovations LLP is a client of Noora Health. Aurora Health Innovations was remunerated by Noora Health for research related services rendered towards completion of this manuscript.

  • Disclaimer No specific grants or funds were expressly provided or tied to the publication or for the data collection of this manuscript.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval for the study was obtained from investigators’ institutions.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. The dataset consists of de-identified participant data including survey responses of mothers who delivered at one of the twenty-four state-run district hospitals during the study period. Data requests may be sent to Dr. Seema Murthy ( Re-use of data requires prior authorization by the appropriate/designated authorities at State-level Ministries of Health. There is no additional information (e.g. protocols, statistical analyses) publicly available.

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