Open Access Open Badges Research article

Reducing neonatal infections in south and south central Vietnam: the views of healthcare providers

Daniele Trevisanuto12*, Gaston Arnolda3, Tran Dinh Chien3, Ngo Minh Xuan4, Le Thi Anh Thu5, Danica Kumara3, Ornella Lincetto6 and Luciano Moccia23

Author Affiliations

1 Children and Women’s Health Department, Medical School, University of Padua, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Via Giustiniani, 3, 35128 Padua, Italy

2 Amici della Neonatologia Trentina, Trento, Italy

3 East Meets West Foundation, Oakland, CA, USA

4 Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

5 Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

6 World Health Organization, Country Office for Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam

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BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:51  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-51

Published: 9 April 2013



Infection causes neonatal mortality in both high and low income countries. While simple interventions to prevent neonatal infection are available, they are often poorly understood and implemented by clinicians. A basic understanding of healthcare providers' perceptions of infection control provides a platform for improving current practices. Our aim was to explore the views of healthcare providers in provincial hospitals in south and south central Vietnam to inform the design of programmes to improve neonatal infection prevention and control.


All fifty-four participants who attended a workshop on infection prevention and control were asked to complete an anonymous, written questionnaire identifying their priorities for improving neonatal infection prevention and control in provincial hospitals in south and south central Vietnam.


Hand washing, exclusive breastfeeding and safe disposal of medical waste were nominated by most participants as priorities for preventing neonatal infections. Education through instructional posters and written guidelines, family contact, kangaroo-mother-care, limitation of invasive procedures and screening for maternal GBS infection were advocated by a smaller proportion of participants.


The opinions of neonatal healthcare providers at the workshop accurately reflect some of the current international recommendations for infection prevention. However, other important recommendations were not commonly identified by participants and need to be reinforced. Our results will be used to design interventions to improve infection prevention in Vietnam, and may be relevant to other low-resource countries.

Healthcare provider; Infection prevention; Low-resource country; Neonate