Knowledge, Attitudes and Experience of Pregnancy and Childbirth of Women in Tigray, Ethiopia

Monday, 22 July 2013

Kyung-Sook Bang, PhD, RN
Insook Lee, PhD, RN
Young Sook Park, RN, CNM, PhD
Sun-Mi Chae, PhD, RN, CPNP
Hyunju Kang, MPH, RN
Juyoun Yu, MS, RN
Sangjun Oh, RN
College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to acknowledge knowledge and attitudes about pregnancy and childbirth of women in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify risk factors of perinatal health in women of Tigray, Ethiopia.

Purpose: Ethiopia struggles with high maternal mortality related to childbirth. The purpose of this study was to explore knowledge, attitudes, and experience of pregnancy and childbirth of women in Tigray, Ethiopia. 

Methods: This study is a cross-sectional descriptive research, which was conducted for a baseline survey of maternal child health project in Ethiopia supported by the Korea government. The participants were 573 women aged 15 to 49 years dwelling in Tigray, Ethiopia. Stratified random sampling was performed. A structured interview questionnaire was used after modifying the Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey and the Safe Motherhood Population-Based Survey Questionnaire. Pre-trained interviewers collected data through home-visits from October to November in 2012. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Mean age of the women was 32.1 years. Average number of children was 3.8. Regarding the knowledge of pregnancy or childbirth related health problems, only less than a half of the women considered high fever (45.0%), severe headache (42.9%), convulsion (29.0%), and rupture of membrane without labor (24.3%) as serious problems. The vast majority of them perceived woman’s right to plan ahead about where to give birth to her baby (99.5%) and how to get to the place for birth (97.0%) while they thought their husbands should accompany with them for antenatal care (92.8%) and childbirth (97%). Among 254 women with history of childbirth within last 2 years, 40.6% received antenatal care from health extension workers (HEWs) at health posts and 34.3% from health care professionals (HCPs) at public health centers. Their institutional birth rate was 16.5%. For post-natal care, 51.2% received from HEWs and 19.7% from HCPs.

Conclusion: Our results suggest a well-designed pregnancy and childbirth education for the women in Ethiopia. Also maternal health related competency of HEWs and HCPs should be reinforced to improve maternal health during perinatal period.