Factors affecting postpartum care attendance and the associated disorders among mothers in Nairobi and Machakos, Kenya
Mwangangi, Alice Ndave
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Maternal deaths due to pregnancy, puerperal disorders, complications and disabilities continue to be high in developing countries including Kenya. In the meantime, there are scanty claims that postpartum care services that should alleviate these problems are underutilized in spite of their availability in the community. Further, the factors responsible for postpartum care services underutilization by postpartum mothers are largely unknown. Also, the range of postpartum complications and disorders among Kenyan mothers are too undocumented. Consequently, this comparative and descriptive study was designed to investigate the postpartum care services attendance in Machakos District (a rural setting) and Nairobi (an urban area). The study also sought to establish the factors that affect postpartum care services attendance as well as the range and the extent of puerperal conditions common among mothers in the study communities. Postpartum care services attendance was significantly different in both study areas with Machakos showing about 37.9% attendance compared to approximately 62.1% attendance in Nairobi (c21= 38.54, p<0.01). However, similar factors were found to affect postpartum care services attendance in both areas. Knowledge of postpartum care services, lack of family planning attendance and puerperal disorders experienced by the mothers were found to be the main factors influencing postpartum care services attendance in both study areas. In addition to these factors, place of delivery of last baby and the mode of delivery were found to influence postpartum care attendance in Nairobi. Breast conditions, genito-urinary tract disorders, anaemia, eclampsia, puerperal pyrexia, postpartum haemorrhage and high blood pressure were the puerperal complications found among women attending maternal and child health and family planning clinics in the two areas studied. Overall, breast disorders (21%) were the commonest ailments found followed by puerperal pyrexia (19%) while high blood pressure problems (10%) were the least common. Regionwise, there were more mothers with breast disorders in Nairobi than in Machakos while in terms of puerperal pyrexia, the converse was true. Similarly, high blood pressure and genito-urinary tract disorders were approximately 3 times higher in mothers from Nairobi than they were in Machakos. But postpartum haemorrhage was approximately two times higher in Machakos than it was in Nairobi although eclampsia was low 0.3%) in Nairobi and absent in Machakos women. The study concludes that there is need to design an education programme to popularize postpartum care attendance inorder to reduce the puerperal ailments experienced by the mothers in puerperim. Also, training of Traditional Birth Attendants would benefit maternal health during this period.
- MST-Zoological Sciences