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Chlorhexidine (CHX) new use: for umbilical cord care

Over 25 countries are now moving toward implementation of chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care. The global scale-up tracker is a real-time, interactive dashboard that illustrates the global progress of chlorhexidine (CHX) implementation and scale-up. Dashboard users can see a wealth of information regarding the current status of chlorhexidine(CHX)  engagement in these countries, including policy status, type of product used, location of use, regulatory status, and locations of local manufacture.

Ensuring optimal cord care at birth and during the first week of life, including use of chlorhexidine(CHX) , especially in settings having poor hygiene, is a crucial strategy to prevent life-threatening sepsis and cord infections and avert preventable neonatal deaths.

Chlorhexidine digluconate is a broad spectrum antiseptic that is available in a range of concentrations and has been safely used for over 40 years for a variety of health-related applications; but its specific use for umbilical cord care was uniquely tested in three clinical trials in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, in the form of 7.1% chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX). Given the promising results of the trials, in 2013 the World Health Organization (WHO) added CHX to its model list of essential medicines for children; and in 2014 the WHO issued a new guideline on umbilical cord care, which included a formal recommendation on the use of chlorhexidine(CHX) .

This webpage was developed by the Chlorhexidine Working Group (CWG)  to help policy makers, program managers, and donors facilitate the introduction of 7.1% chlorhexidine digluconate(CHX)  into existing essential newborn care services in low- and middle-income countries. The document, from research to use: saving newborn lives with chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care chronicles the history and accomplishments of the CWG. The webpage consists of three phases, Get Ready, Plan, and Execute, and is based on the experiences of the CWG partners in introducing chlorhexidine in various countries (see Guide to Implementing 7.1% chlorhexidine Digluconate for umbilical cord care: Thrree phases to ensure sustainable implementation). Each phase is composed of activities that facilitate introduction and scale-up. The phases do not necessarily occur in a sequential manner; however, as some activities/components across the three phases may occur simultaneously while others are dependent upon the results of activities from a previous phase.

 

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