Awareness and screening practices for gestational diabetes mellitus among pregnant women in Arusha Urban, Tanzania

  • S.S. Msollo
  • H.D. Martin
  • A.W. Mwanri
  • P. Petrucka
Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus, awareness, Screening, pregnant women, Tanzania


Awareness is an important aspect for seeking self-prevention, diagnosis, and management of gestational diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to assess awareness and history of screening practices for gestational diabetes mellitus among pregnant women in Arusha Urban District of Arusha City Council, Tanzania. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2018, among 468 randomly selected pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at Ngarenaro and Kaloleni Health Centers in urban areas of Arusha District. Data collection was done through face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire and analyzed using SPSSTM version 20. Almost 60% of the participants completed primary school and were self-employed (55.8%) basically in small business. Few women were aware of the existence of gestational diabetes mellitus (10.7%). Among the aware women, 36, 23, 26 and 30% knew the meaning, effects, symptoms and risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus respectively. Twelve (24%) of these women, obtained this information from the antenatal clinic while 38(76%) from different media. Awareness was positively associated with post-secondary (AOR 13.7, 95% CI: 4.07-46.15) and secondary education levels (AOR 5.5, 95% CI: 1.78-16.76). About 8.2% of the women were screened for gestational diabetes mellitus in their previous pregnancy in urine whereby 13.2% reported to have high urine glucose and provided with nutrition counselling without further follow up from the antenatal care. Therefore, awareness and screening practices for gestational diabetes mellitus are insufficient in the study area which may be attributed to low prioritization and limited resources.


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