East African Medical Journal

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Social-demographic and reproductive characteristics of mothers delivered at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana

C. A. Klufo, A. T. Lassey, B. D. Annan


Objectives: To measure selected socio-demographic and reproductive history characteristics of parturients at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Accra, Ghana, and to compute the risk load.
Design: A non-randomised cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.
Subjects: Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, a tertiary institution delivers about 11000 women annually. From 1st November to 12th December 1994, 961 parturients were studied out of 978 delivered during the study period. Seventeen questionnaires were excluded from analysis because of errors and omissions that could not be corrected before the parturients' discharge from hospital.
Methods: The data sources were the patients' antenatal and delivery records, and a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire.
Results: More than three per cent of the subjects were less than 18 years, and 10.8% were over 35 years of age. Before the index delivery, 5.8% were grand multiparae. Eighteen per cent had never been to school. Seventeen per cent of parous subjects had experienced a perinatal death. The non-educated had significantly more births. The mean birth interval was less than two years in 26.4%. Fifty percent of those who had been previously pregnant had a history of at least one induced-abortion. Only 21.0% of the 961 subjects had ever-used a family planning method. The risk load was 53.0%.
Conclusion: Analysis of the historical factors of parturients surveyed at the KBTH showed a high risk load related mainly to lack of education. Formal education of the female child and family health education of our women are recommended to reduce the high past abortion rate and risk load. Additionally, postpartum tubal ligation for those who have completed their families will further reduce the risk load.

(East African Medical Journal: 2002 79(4): 176-180)
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