Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Grandmultiparity: Emerging Trend in a Tropical Community

Etedafe P. Gharoro, Andrew A. Igbafe


Background: Grandmultipara have always been and still are sources of apprehension to the obstetrician when in labour. The relative prevalence of grandmultiparity may be declining but it remains a major contributor to maternal mortality.
Objective: To determine the current prevalence of grandmultiparity and the pattern of utilisation of maternity services by grandmultipara in Benin City.
Subjects and Methods: A total of 1280 antenatal patients were interviewed in four large maternity centres between the months of June and September 1998 using a structured questionnaire.
Results: Grandmultipara made up 7.34% of the antenatal population. Their average age was 33.7 ± 5.08 years. Social classes 3 and 4 constituted the majority with a frequency of 37.8% and 35.6% respectively. The incidence of high parity increased with social class up to social class 3 and declined thereafter. The majority (57.5%) of the patients had only primary school education. The odds against a grandmultipara being educated more than primary school compared to the multipara was significant (OR = 4.96 (95% CI 3.13-7.86, P<0.0001). Most grandmultipara (64.4%) booked late for antenatal care. They were more likely to have delivered at home -31.91% (OR = 2.18; 95% CI: 1.34-3.52, P=0.001, and in church — 9.75% (OR = 12.45; 95% CI: 4.51-34.24, P = 0.0002) in their last pregnancy.
Conclusion: The relative prevalence of grandmultiparity in the community is low and it is associated with poor utilisation of maternity services. This group of mothers should be actively discouraged from delivering at home and in churches. Reproductive health care services in the community should be strengthened.

(Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2001, 18(1): 27-30)
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