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Thermal Care - Immediate Drying

Indicator Phrasing

% of children aged 0-11 months who were dried immediately after birth
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of children aged 0-11 months who were dried immediately after birth

French: % d'enfants âgés de 0 à 11 mois qui ont été séchés immédiatement après la naissance

Portuguese: % de crianças de idade entre 0-11 meses que foram enxugadas imediatamente após o nascimento

Czech: % dětí ve věku 0-11 měsíců, které byly ihned po porodu osušeny

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures one of the main thermal care practices that are essential for preventing children’s temperatures to drop rapidly after birth, causing potentially life-threatening neonatal hypothermia. Hypothermia can occur if a newborn is left wet, unprotected from cold (even in warm temperatures) while waiting for the placenta to be delivered.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of mothers of children aged 0-11.99 months:



Q1: Do you remember whether your youngest child was dried immediately after birth before the placenta was delivered?


1) yes, was dried immediately after birth

2) no, was not dried immediately after birth

3) does not remember



To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of children who were dried immediately after birth by the total number of respondents (exclude those with “does not remember” answer). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by the place of delivery (at home, in a health centre, in a hospital) and presence of a skilled birth attendant during delivery (present/ absent; use for home deliveries only).

Important Comments

1) Since mothers might not remember exactly the information your survey is asking about, consider conducting as many interviews as possible in pairs consisting of the mother and a birth attendant/ relative who attended the delivery/ who took care of the mother. While using such an approach will take you more time, it will very likely result in more accurate data. If none of the listed options are likely to provide accurate data, consider changing the indicator to “% of [specify: health facilities / birth attendants] always ensuring that newborns are dried immediately after birth” and collecting the required data from the target health facilities’ staff/ birth attendants.


2) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate, vaccination card or another document; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents (and since they can include mistakes), it is essential that your data collectors are able to verify the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.


3) The most common recommendation is interviewing mothers of children aged 0-23 months. However, this assumes that the mothers will remember for up to two years the information your survey is asking about. Since this is not very likely, IndiKit recommends using for this indicator a shorter recall period by interviewing mothers of children aged 0-12 months. Use it only if the data is supposed to be used purely for the purpose of your intervention (i.e. making programming decisions, measuring its results, etc.) and does not need to be comparable with the statistics of other stakeholders which use longer recall period. 


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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