Table 2

Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on small and sick newborn care, KMC practice, facility visitation and follow-up care

Total, n (%)
Neonatal inpatient care during COVID-19 pandemic (n=623)
 Newborn unit admission capacity reduced229 (36.7)
 Newborn unit/KMC areas are reallocated (for COVID-19 care or other care)91 (14.6)
 Newborn unit/KMC staff are reallocated (for COVID-19 care or other areas)118 (18.9)
 Babies are discharged earlier than usual273 (43.8)
 Women/families refuse to stay in facilities that are marked as COVID-19 treatment centres197 (31.6)
KMC practice during COVID-19 pandemic (n=623)
 KMC ward admission capacity reduced172 (27.6)
 Health workers more hesitant to promote KMC150 (24.0)
 Women/families more hesitant to practise KMC105 (16.8)
 Counselling/support focus shifted from KMC to hand hygiene, masks and social distancing237 (38)
 KMC practised with improved hand and respiratory hygiene (ie, masks and tissues)321 (51.5)
Changes to KMC practice* (n=528)
 KMC practice has stopped37 (7.0)
 KMC is practised as normal292 (55.3)
 KMC is practised, but the daily duration of skin-to-skin contact is reduced140 (26.5)
 KMC is initiated and babies are discharged home early163 (30.8)
 KMC is practised in another area23 (4.4)
NSCU/NICU visitation during COVID-19 pandemic (n=593)
 Mother and family allowed as usual68 (11.4)
 Mothers are permitted except for those who are COVID-19-positive304 (51.2)
 Mother and family are not permitted24 (4.0)
 Family members (other than mother) are not permitted266 (44.8)
 Visiting hours are restricted237 (39.9)
Follow-up care during COVID-19 pandemic (n=435)
 Reduced space for follow-up clinic100 (22.9)
 Less staff to conduct follow-up clinic142 (32.6)
 Fewer appointments for each newborn211 (48.5)
 Follow-up schedule has been changed178 (40.9)
 Women/families reluctant to attend follow-up due to fear of infection319 (73.3)
 Reduced attendance due to logistical reasons (eg, public transport disruptions)247 (56.7)
 Home visits disrupted95 (21.8)
 Telephone follow-up visits have been started.160 (36.7)
  • *Changes to KMC practice were reported by 528 respondents due to embedded skip logic within the survey.

  • KMC, kangaroo mother care; NICU, neonatal intensive care unit; NSCU, neonatal special care unit.