Open Access Original Research Article

Assessing the Knowledge, Use and Perception of Contraceptives among Senior High School Students in the Kumbungu District of Northern Ghana

Frimpong Manso Patricia, Aloba Nelsi, Edem Kojo Dzantor, Theophilus Adjeso, Yaa Nyarko Agyeman

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 1-12


Background: Senior high school students are faced with several sexual and reproductive health challenges and make decisions and choices based on their knowledge and perceptions of available sexual and reproductive health services. The study, therefore, assessed the knowledge, use, and perception of contraceptives among senior high school students in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region of Ghana.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 299 study participants through a multiple sampling approach comprising purposive, proportionate, and simple random sampling techniques.  A pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from the study participants. A descriptive and Pearson’s chi-square analyses were performed.

Results: The prevalence of contraceptive use was 23.2% with 55.9% of the study participants incorrectly defined contraceptives. The major source of information on contraceptives was from their peers (53.3%). Apart from condoms, knowledge on the remaining contraceptives methods was poorly understood by the participants. Common misperceptions on contraceptive use included infertility (50.0%), interference with sexual pleasure (37.9%), and promotion of promiscuity (32.3%). Statistically, we found significant differences between ever users of contraceptives and sex (P< 0.001) and religion (P=0.026). There was a significant difference between knowledge and perception (P=0.010).

Conclusion: The study findings describe a seemly poor knowledge and misconceptions on the use of contraceptives among study participants. This is likely to affect the usage of contraceptives among adolescents and students in the Kumbungu District with a resultant effect on the rise of teenage pregnancies. Addressing the poor knowledge and misconception by stakeholders, including the Ghana Health Services and other NGO’s is therefore recommended.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antenatal Lived Experiences of Women who Delivered Preterm Babies at a Referral Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe

Rachael Longwe, Judith Rukweza, Virgininia Mawerewere, Clara Haruzivishe

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 13-28

Introduction: A lived experience is normally an undervalued and complex phenomena in nursing and midwifery despite its crucial influence on maternal and birth outcomes. During antenatal  care,  health  care  providers  tend  to  concentrate  on  the  pregnancy  at  the  expense  of experiences that women go through. Research studies have also bias towards the medical perspective leaving out the experiences that occur during the antenatal period.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the antenatal lived experiences of women who delivered preterm babies.

Study Design: A descriptive phenomenological research design was employed to understand the diverse antenatal lived experiences.

Setting and Duration: Parirenyatwa Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital was the study site.

Methodology: All accessible women who delivered preterm babies between October, 2016 and March, 2017 with babies admitted in neonatal intensive care unit, Kangaroo care unit and those coming to preterm outpatient clinic were included in this study. Purposive sampling method was used to select the eligible participants. Audio recorded in-depth interviews using semi-structured interview guide were used to collect data. Thematic analysis was used to analyze data manually.

Results: Eleven women participated in this study. Their ages ranged from 17 to 42 years. The lowest level of education was primary (9%, n = 1) and highest being secondary (91%, n = 10). Three major themes came out, which included stressful life events, perceived mismanagement of physical problems and care and support. Support during antenatal period is crucial as it helps pregnant women to adjust and cope with life stressors and it helps them to have a smooth journey of pregnancy which leads to a healthy pregnancy outcome.

Conclusion: Pregnant women are experiencing a variety of stressful life events. A holistic individualized approach comprising comprehensive history on experiences during pregnancy should be adopted to capture and detect adverse health symptoms early.

Open Access Original Research Article

Maternal Characteristics and Outcomes of Obstetric Complications at a Tertiary Heath Facility in Northern Ghana

Rosina Darcha, Margaret Kukeba

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 29-40

Introduction: Ghana has recorded improved access to skilled care during pregnancy (4+ visits) 89% and labour 78%, yet maternal mortality is 310 per 100 000 live births. This research was conducted to identify the socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics of women with obstetric complications in a tertiary health facility in northern Ghana to gain sight to reduce maternal deaths.

Materials and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional quantitative retrospective study. We collected data from 384 women using a structured questionnaire and analysed it using SPSS version 20.0. Inferences were made using cross-tabulations with corresponding significance set at P= .05

Results: This study revealed that, the typical woman with obstetric complication is 20-35 years old, mean age 27.7 and standard deviation of 6.2; married to a salaried worker; Dagomba by tribe; no formal education; petty trader; earn below the minimum wage of Ghana ($ 2.07); Moslem; resides in an urban setting; pregnant and delivering for the first time; gestational age of 37-42 weeks at labour and birth spacing of 2-3 years. Cross-tabulations revealed associations between three socio-demographic and four obstetric characteristic all with large effects sizes as follows; X2 (3, N = 69) = 13.50, P = .004; X2 (65, N = 67) =1.11, P = .000; X2 (2, N = 69) = 9.17, P = .010; X2 (12, N = 68) = 26.1, P = .010; X2 (3, N = 384) = 17.15, P= .001; X2 (4, N = 69) = 19.8, P = .001; X2 (65, N = 65) = 1.12, P = .000; X2 (1, N = ) = 72.9, P = .000 respectively.

Conclusion: Obstetric complications are universal; improving poor outcomes in the study setting will take identifying and filling gaps in the skill needs of maternal health care workers and addressing health facility challenges.

Open Access Original Research Article

What Does Mass-media have to do with Contraceptive Uptake among Nigerian Women? Evidence from Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020

Amadou Barrow, Kayode R Fowobaje, Godson Tudeme, Samson Olorunju, Adeyinka Onikan, Michael Ekholuenetale

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 41-58

Background: Mass media plays an important role in information dissemination in Nigeria and studies have shown that the interrelationship that exists between reproductive health behaviour and mass media campaigns on the use of modern contraceptives have resulted in the improvement of reproductive health outcomes. There is a need to examine the differentials in mass media-related behaviour change communication for family planning among Nigerian women of reproductive age with respect to their wealth index and educational status using nationally represented sample.

Methods: We used data from the most recent round of publicly available data from Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) in Nigeria with nationally representative samples. The prevalence of lifetime contraceptive use was computed to provide the context in which birth dynamics are occurring across all variables and to examine the statistical significance of cross-tabulation results. We then conducted multivariable logistic regression to determine the factors associated with contraceptive use.

Results: The proportion of women in low wealth quintile were slightly higher (53%) than the rich women (47%). The mass media related behaviour change communication showed that women who had heard of family planning on radio were 60.7%, television, 38.2%, and on newspaper/magazine was 18.2%. Also, use of mass media in receiving information about family planning increases by increasing level of women’s education. Women from lowest household wealth quintile, and have heard about family planning on television were 1.63 (OR= 1.63; 95%CI: 1.13, 2.34) times as likely to use any contraceptive method, compared with those who did not hear about family planning on television.

Conclusion: Our findings revealed that Radio, followed by the television, were reportedly the main sources of family planning messages. Also, the use of mass media and socioeconomic status are associated with contraceptive utilization, and leads to increased use of a FP product.

Open Access Original Research Article

Prevalence of Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Associated Maternal Factors in a Tertiary Hospital in Gombe Metropolis, Nigeria

Mela Danjin, Liona Buba, Ebisike J. O. Kelechi, Rose M. Danjin, Vivian J. O. K Ebisike, Haruna M. Moda

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 59-67

Aim: This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of Low Birth Weight (LBW) and its association with some maternal factors in the study area.

Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study of 108 consenting and parturient mothers who had their antenatal bookings and singleton baby live deliveries in the State Specialist Hospital Gombe, Nigeria; was conducted in the month of August 2016. The mother-neonate pairs were selected using purposive sampling technique and key variables of interest about the subjects were harvested on structured pro-forma. Simple descriptive statistics were computed, Chi square and two-sided Fisher’s Exact Test (FET) were used to test association between Birth Weight (BW) and some maternal factors. Level of significance was set at P<0.05.

Results: Majority (85.2%) of the mothers who aged between 15 and 40 years (23.90+6.327) were below the age of 31. Most of them were housewives (77.8%) and 75.0% were Hausa-Fulani by tribe. Eighty (74.1%) of them had parity and gravidity of <4 and <5 respectively. Fifty-three of the infants (49.1%) had Low Birth Weight (LBW) and a mean of 2.54±0.641kg. About a quarter of the mothers (25, 23.1%) had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of <18.50 kg/m2while well over a half (65) of them had low Packed Cell Volumes (PCVs) (<33%). When Birth Weight (BW) was cross tabulated against various maternal parameters, significant association could only be found with maternal weight (P = 0.000) and BMI (P=0.000).

Conclusion: A very high prevalence of LBW (49.1%) related to a compromised maternal nutritional status as indicated by poor BMI and weight indicators is quite worrisome. Although this might require further confirmation by more rigorous large sample-size multicentre follow up studies, this finding calls for the institution of effective intervention measures by all concerned authorities.

Open Access Original Research Article

Exploring Parents Needs Among Newborn Babies at Tamale Teaching Hospital

Keren-Happuch Twumasiwaa Boateng, Vida Nyagre Yakong, Nicholas L. Yombei

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 68-75

Background: The progress made in neonatal intensive care delivery worldwide has resulted in optimal health outcomes of neonates, however, newborns and infants still die. Majority of these infant and neonatal deaths, occur in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The experiences of many parents following a poor prognosis of their newborns requiring end of life care suggest that parents usually need support from health care professionals who render direct services to their child, however, the extent and nature of this support is perceivably unknown.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was therefore to explore parents’ needs among newborn babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Methods: The researchers adopted a phenomenological qualitative design using a semi-structured interview guide to collect data. Ethical approval was sought from Tamale Teaching Hospital ethics review committee which is the final authority to give approval for the data collection. A sample size of 8 participants were drawn for the study. The participating parents completed an informed consent form prior to their participation in an interview. The results were analyzed using content analysis.

Results: Effective communication and the provision of continuous, concise and complete information about child’s condition were important to parents during the end-of-life care of their newborns in Neonatal Intensive Care Units; Parents had limited understanding of the nature and benefits of palliative care; Parental support in terms of information and communication, emotional, psychological and spiritual support, as well as shared decision-making are essential for quality end-of-life care at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Conclusion: The study focused on parental support during end of life and a major finding was that provision of adequate and complete information, effective and frequent communication, emotional and psychological support for parents, support from spouses and extended family for parents, involvement in child’s care and shared decision making about child’s condition are the most important parental needs during the end-of-life care of their newborns at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Open Access Original Research Article

Experiences of Mothers with hospitalized Preterm Babies in Tamale Central Hospital, Ghana

Lukman Amadu, Keren-Happuch Twumasiwaa Boateng, Adam Fuseini

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 76-93

Background: Admission of a baby into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is highly traumatic and stressful for parents especially mothers. This leads to a breakdown of the family unit due to the impediments undermining the family routine. When a baby is born premature, preparations for the baby is interrupted and the mother of the premature baby might feel as if she is missing out on something. There is an observation of maternal challenges regarding the management of preterm babies at the Tamale Central Hospital. These challenges range from social, economic, physiological and psychological in nature. Physiologically, preterm babies encounter numerous problems such as respiratory, maintenance of body temperature, exposure to infection and difficulty in feeding. 

Purpose: This study seeks to determine the maternal experiences of hospitalized preterm babies.

Methodology: A phenomenological qualitative design was used. Fifteen mothers with hospitalized preterm babies were interviewed. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. This allowed for consistency and reliability. After transcribing and reading the interviews, meaningful units were identified and grouped by similarity, giving rise to thematic categorization. 

Results: The study found that the involvement of mothers in the care of their preterm babies in NICU was helpful though they experienced fear in interacting with their babies initially due to adverse barriers such as fear of hurting the preterm baby and fear of equipment in the NICU. 

Conclusion: The factors which led to mothers’ anxiety such as fear in interacting with their babies, fear of equipment in the neonatal intensive care unit and non-explanation of the baby’s condition would be reduced if mothers get the support from staff, other mothers from the NICU and the participants' families assisted them to cope.

Open Access Original Research Article

Demand and Significance of Informal Postnatal Care Support System in Lagos State: A Feasibility Study

Noimot Balogun, Ademola Ade-Serrano, Rashidat Ososanwo, Toyosi Oyewole, Oyindamola Otejusola, Emeka Ajanwachukwu

Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Page 94-105

Aims: To make a research case for an innovative intervention by evaluating the demand and determinants of informal postnatal care and support.

Study Design: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Itire and Yaba in Lagos State, Nigeria. Data collection lasted for two weeks.

Methodology: A semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. A total number of 249 women were chosen using estimated extrapolations from secondary data that had been collected on women of reproductive age. Respondents were recruited based on convenience and willingness to take part. We carried descriptive statistics and correlation coefficient tests on the cleaned data..

Results: More than half of the respondents, 54% were from Itire while 46% were from Yaba; 90% were between 25–44 years. Seventy-eight percent of the women had vaginal delivery, and 26% underwent a caesarian section; about 13% reported delivery complications. More than half (52%) of respondents’ families gave postnatal support, 37% received postnatal support from in-laws and 8% from multiple sources. During the postnatal period, 65% of the respondents reported doing exclusive breastfeeding, while 35% reported giving milk and other feeds. Only 9% of women used chlorhexidine gel for newborn cord care. Majority of the respondents, 76% used methylated spirit and 15% used herbal mix heated on kerosene lanterns or various kinds of toothpaste and other substances. Only 19% of the women had begun family planning. Though the majority (94%) found the postnatal support received helpful; 65% were open to professional help. Willingness to use professional postnatal support was significant among respondents who had delivery complications (p=0.02) and those who were from the Yaba axis (p=0.03).

Conclusion: The findings revealed an information gap when compared to standard recommended postnatal practices and a demand for professional guidance hence the need for innovative approaches to equip women and their informal support with adequate postnatal information.