The influence of prenatal care on pregnancy outcome in a rural area in Kitui district
Ambetsa, Millicent Weche
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Prenatal care during pregnancy provides an opportunity of reducing the burden of maternal and prenatal mortalities. Data to gauge prevalence of morbidity in Kenya are limited. Both women and traditional birth attendants are unaware of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy complications, their causes and appropriate treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of prenatal care on pregnancy outcome. Also, to determine the influence of prenatal care on pregnancy outcome. Also, to determine the knowledge the influence of prenatal care by childbearing women, the possible contributing factors to maternal and prenatal complications and to establish the influence of utilization of prenatal care services on pregnancy outcome. A total of four hundred and six randomly sampled childbearing women age 15-49 years with a previous pregnancy were interviewed from nine sub-locations using structured pre-tested questionnaire, and three focus group discussions. Data analysis was done using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Chi square (c2) test of significance was applied relating various factors with pregnancy outcome. Relationship between knowledge of prenatal care, utilization of prenatal care services and factors affecting utilization of prenatal care services by childbearing women were determined in relationship with pregnancy outcome. The 95% significance level was used to determine in the significance of relationships. Results indicate that 59.1% respondents understood the meaning of prenatal care while 40.9 did not. Nearly all respondents (96.3%) utilized prenatal care services during clinic attendance. However more than half of the respondents (50.2%) started attending prenatal clinic during the second trimester (4-6 months of pregnancy). Relationship between clinic attendance and pregnancy outcome was highly significant (c2=8.768,df=1,p<0.003). Further, frequency of clinic attendance influenced pregnancy outcome (c2=8.398,df=3,p<0.038). However, services offered during clinic attendance were inadequate with only 10.3% women who were investigated for diseases like anaemia, sexually transmitted diseases and diabetes mellitus. In addition, utilization of prenatal care services during delivery was inadequate. Majority of the women in labour (94.1%) were attended to by the help of untrained birth attendants. Further, majority of the deliveries (66.3%) occurred at home. Qualified professionals or skilled birth attendants conducted only 5.9% of the deliveries. Under utilization of prenatal care services especially during delivery was influenced by the following factors: lack of understanding the importance of prenatal care by childbearing women, long walking distance, lack of money and transport, seeking delivery services from untrained birth attendants and provision of inadequate clinical investigations. In conclusion, the results imply that clinic attendance was high. However a high number of the respondents (40.9%) did not understand the meaning of prenatal care. Majority of the respondents started clinic late (4-6months) and as late as seven months of pregnancy. The quality of prenatal care judged by antenatal care (ANC) profile was inadequate with only 10.3% who had clinical laboratory investigations carried out. More than half of the deliveries (66.3%) occurred at home with the help of untrained birth attendants. In addition, 22.2% women experienced pregnancy related complications. The information from this study could be useful in designing intervention prenatal care programmes and reduction of pregnancy related complications. Effective prenatal care would be achieved by educating childbearing women on the importance of investigations during prenatal clinic attendance and also by improving services offered at the clinic.
- MST-Zoological Sciences