Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Eastern and Central Africa 15 Perception of urgency to seek treatment for risk medical disorders in pregnancy
Background: Risks of mortality for women and their babies are highest at the time of birth and statistics show that approximately 536,000 women of reproductive age die each year due to pregnancy-related complications. Over 20 million girls and women suffer from morbidities arising from childbirth annually with more than half of these occurring in Africa. The key to reducing maternal deaths not only lies in the treatment of the main causes but in preventing and providing quality and timely health care to pregnant women.
Objective: This study sought to assess the perception of pregnant women on the urgency to seek treatment if symptoms of risk medical disorders of pregnancy were observed.
Methodology: This was a prospective study where 397 expectant clients were selected from those attending antenatal services at Njoro, Nessuit, Huruma and P.C.E.A health centers in Njoro Division, Nakuru County in Kenya.
Results: A high percentage of women attending antenatal clinics had good perception on urgency to seek treatment in regard to obstetric emergences and fetal wellbeing. On a scale of 1 to 4 where for is very urgent need and 1 not urgent the scores were 2.81 for reduced fetal movement, 3.44 for lack of fetal movement, 3.71 for antepartum haemorrhage and 3.49 for premature rupture of membranes. They however had poor perception on urgency to seek treatment relating to medical disorders in pregnancy with scores of 2.19 for anaemia, 1.93 for deep venous thrombosis, 1.36 for diabetes mellitus, 2.60 for preeclampsia and 3.04 for urinary tract infection symptoms.
Conclusions: Antenatal education is vital and need to be delivered by qualified personnel in small focused groups to allow clients knowledge acquisition and behaviour modification. The health providers should be equipped with education skills especially for adult learners to achieve this. More research is required to understand the optimal learning environment that will have significant impact on outcome of the pregnancy.
Keywords: Perception, Treatment, Risk medical disorders, Pregnancy