Chlorhexidine for Umbilical Cord Care

Last Update: December 21, 2013

4% chlorhexidine solution is a widely available, low-cost antiseptic that can be used to prevent neonate infection and death by application to the umbilical cord in the first few hours of birth. A recent study in Bangladesh led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has shown that the antiseptic Chlorhexidine can reduce a neonate's risk of infection and death by 20%. A USAID funded study in Pakistan demonstrates that cord cleaning led to a decrease in infection and mortality by 42% and 38%, respectively.