USAID’s Chlorhexidine “Navi” Care Program provides technical assistance to the Government of Nepal to scale up the use of chlorhexidine gel, an antiseptic applied to the umbilical cord stump of newborns to prevent infection and neonatal mortality.

In Nepal, half of births occur at home, making newborns more vulnerable to infections.  About 70 percent of under-five deaths in Nepal occur within the first month of life, and approximately 50 percent are attributed to infection. Chlorhexidine is proven to be a safe, efficacious antiseptic to prevent infection and sepsis among newborns if applied to the umbilical stump immediately after cutting the cord. In Nepal, use of this simple antiseptic has decreased newborn deaths by 24 percent and newborn infections by 68 percent.

Nepal was the first country to adopt chlorhexidine for newborn cord care at scale.  Nepal has also been recognized globally for being the first country to manufacture an acceptable formulation of chlorhexidine gel for application by service providers at health facilities and also in communities. Nepal has become an example and model for other countries to learn about chlorhexidine programming.


Issuing Country 
Monday, August 7, 2017 - 5:15am