In 2015, the 17 percent of neonatal deaths in Pakistan were caused by sepsis. Umbilical cord infection is a risk factor for neonatal sepsis and mortality in low-resource settings. Ensuring optimal cord care at birth and in the first week of life is a crucial strategy to prevent life-threatening sepsis, and avert preventable neonatal deaths. Chlorhexidine is a low-cost antiseptic that is effective against major causes of neonatal infection.
SHOPS Plus engaged key stakeholders, including local pharmaceutical manufactures, private provider associations, nongovernmental organizations, social franchises, social marketing organizations, and members of a local Chlorhexidine Technical Working Group, to conduct a landscape analysis of chlorhexidine in Pakistan’s health system. The landscape culminated in a report of key findings and a proposed strategy for scaling up distribution and promotion of chlorhexidine for newborn cord care in the private health sector. SHOPS Plus wrapped up the activity by presenting the landscape to public and private sector stakeholders during a chlorhexidine working group meeting in order to validate findings, prioritize strategy recommendations, and discuss next steps that implementing partners can take to move the strategy forward.