Knowledge of pre-eclampsia in women living in Makole Ward, Dodoma, Tanzania
Background: Pre-eclampsia is a hypertensive disorder specific to pregnancy responsible for significant maternal morbidity and mortality in Africa. The majority of deaths related to pre-eclampsia could be avoided with timely and effective care. “Phase one delays” arise because of lack of knowledge.
Objectives: This study aimed to assess the knowledge levels of women living in Makole ward, comparing respondent subgroups with different demographic characteristics. It also aimed to compare knowledge levels in respect to six subtopics of pre-eclampsia. This was to allow for planning of appropriate activities to reduce delays in seeking health care.
Methods: This study surveyed 200 adult women randomly identified in the community. They were asked 36 questions on preeclampsia requiring yes / no answers. The data was analysed quantitatively.
Results: Overall knowledge levels were low with an average of 41% of correct answers. Minor differences in the knowledge levels of demographic subgroups were found. Statistically significant differences were identified between sub-topics of preeclampsia; signs and symptoms were the least well known.
Conclusion: Educational systems (formal and informal) are failing to provide communities with potentially life-saving information. Health centre, community and school based education programmes are recommended.
Keywords: Pre-eclampsia, knowledge, Makole, Dodoma, Tanzania
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