Awareness, knowledge and attitude on cleft lip and palate among antenatal clinic attendees of tertiary hospitals in Nigeria
Background: Adequate knowledge and awareness of cleft lip and palate (CLP) deformity may help to counter the negative beliefs and attitudes toward the condition. The objective of this study was to assess the level of awareness, knowledge and attitude of women attending antenatal clinics about CLP.
Materials and Methods: A cross‑sectional descriptive study with the aid of a structured interview administered questionnaire was conducted among 200 women attending antenatal clinics in three Federal Government Teaching Hospitals in the Northern and Southwestern regions of Nigeria. The main outcome measure was the level of awareness and the mean cumulative knowledge score.
Results: The mean age of the subjects was 28.9 ± 5.1 years (age range: 16‑42 years). Half of the women (50.5%) reported that they had seen or heard about CLP. The mean cumulative knowledge score was 6.9, with only 19.8% having adequate knowledge. Many respondents had neither read an article on CLP nor participated in any public enlightenment program, and 31.5% indicated that they would like to know more about the condition. Level of educational attainment had a statistically significant effect on the level of awareness and knowledge on CLP, as more educated respondents tend to be more aware and knowledgeable (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: There is need for increased public enlightenment/health education to increase awareness and subsequently help develop more positive attitudes toward children with CLP. Such programs should include distribution of pamphlets on CLP at clinics, especially antenatal clinics, media campaigns on radio, TV and newspaper as well as establishment of cleft support groups by the relevant governmental and professional organizations.
Key words: Antenatal clinics, awareness, cleft lip, knowledge, pregnant women