Poor Pregnancy Outcomes in Public Health Facilities in Kenya
Oyore, J. P.
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Addressing poor pregnancy and childbirth outcomes such as still births, pre-term births and neonatal deaths have continued to be a major global challenge. Nations and organisations have invested much effort and resources to promote safe pregnancy and childbirth. Objective: To identify factors contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes among women seeking care in public health facilities in the Keiyo district of Kenya. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design was used employing both quantitative and qualitative methods. Three hundred and eighty four women of reproductive age (15-49 years) attending public health facilities for Maternal and Child Health/Family Planning (MCH/FP) were interviewed. Results: There are several factors which cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. Socioeconomic and demographic factors that were associated with poor pregnancy outcomes include low education level, lack of formal employment and multiparity. Other factors included pre-term birth, preexisting medical conditions, illnesses during pregnancy and obstetric emergencies. The lengthy referral pattern also was a contributory factor. Conclusions: There are several factors that contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes. Social mobilisation of the community on reproductive health issues should be done through health education to enhance proper basic obstetric care and emergency obstetric care. Health facilities should be well staffed and well equipped in order to avoid poor pregnancy outcomes, which may occur as a result of delays owing to lack of staff or equipment. There should be a well defined referral system to enable timely referrals.