Awareness and perception of preconception care among health workers in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching University, Zaria

  • O. Adeoye Tokunbo
  • O. Kolawole Abimbola
  • I. Onwuhuafua Polite
  • O. Adeoye Gbemiga
Keywords: Awareness, care, health worker, perception, preconception


Background: Preconception care (PCC) has been found to improve fetomaternal outcome but it is not widely practiced in Nigeria.

Objective: To obtain information concerning the level of awareness, perception and practice of PCC among health workers with the view of providing recommendation for a framework for its implementation in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross‑sectional study was conducted among 280 health workers (doctors and nurses) using pretested self‑administered, semi‑structured questionnaires between November 2013 and January 2014. Analysis was done using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 16.0. Chi‑square test was used to determine relationships between variables.

Results: The response rate was 85.0% with 130 (54.2%) doctors and 109 (45.8%) nurses. Most (83.3%) of the respondents had heard of PCC, and 91.6% defined it correctly. Only 55 (23%) knew more than 75% of the components of PCC. The difference in knowledge of PCC between doctors and nurses and based on years of experience was statistically significant (χ2 = 0.014). Only 114 (47.7%) had ever offered some form of PCC. The most common intervention was preconception folic acid administration in 33% of the respondents. The perceived obstacles to assessing PCC were poor information (88.3%), poor health seeking behaviour (68.6%) and unplanned pregnancies (60.7%). Majority 182 (76.2%) felt obstetricians should handle PCC followed by family physicians. Opportunistic delivery was cited as the best mode of delivery.

Conclusion: The level of awareness of PCC is high among health workers, especially doctors. It can be offered opportunistically until full integration into the health care system. Training of health workers will improve its implementation.

Keywords: Awareness; care; health worker; perception; preconception


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-5117