by Sunil Sazawal, Usha Dhingra, Said M Ali et al.
the Lancet Global Health 2016 – Published Online September 29, 2016
In low-income countries, including the east African region, a third of neonatal deaths are due to infections. A substantial proportion of these have been attributed to sepsis, which can result from umbilical cord infections. Evidence from Asia suggests that chlorhexidine application to the neonatal umbilical cord reduces mortality, but no data from Africa are available. The authors conclude that their findings do not support the use of chlorhexidine for reduction of neonatal mortality in this east African setting, which might not justify a change in the WHO policy. To inform global policy, a detailed meta-analysis and pooled analysis needs to be undertaken using data from both African and Asian settings.