Knowledge and practices of midwives and nurses on post abortion care in public hospitals in Mwanza region, Tanzania
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Introduction Globally abortion complications contribute significantly to high maternal morbidity and mortality. Treatment of these complications requires midlevel providers (midwives and nurses) to use post abortion care (PAC) as an effective intervention. The study was guided by conceptual framework to determine the association on social demographic characteristics, knowledge and practices of midwives and nurses on PAC. Objective To assess the knowledge and practices of midwives and nurses in relation to post abortion care in the selected public hospitals in Mwanza region in Tanzania. Methodology This was a cross sectional study done among midwives and nurses working in four public hospitals in Mwanza region in Tanzania. Ninety four respondents (65 midwives and 29 nurses) were recruited and were assessed on knowledge and practice in relation to PAC. The assessment was done using pretested, structured, self-administered questionnaires with both closed and open questions. Data were analyzed using STATA 11 software and descriptive statistics were reported. Fisher‟s exact or Chi-square tests were used to test the significance of difference in distribution of knowledge and practice among various groups. The statistical significance was defined as p<0.05 for comparison purposes in between variables. Results The majority of respondents were female 76.6% (72/94). The respondents were midwives and nurses working in reproductive health units but many of them were midwives 69.2% (65/94). The age ranged from 21-59 years with the median age of 31.5 years. Eighty five percent of respondents (80/94) were aware that PAC reduces morbidity and mortality caused by unsafe abortion complications. The relationship between lack of knowledge and hospital of work was significant (p-value at 0.040) in 13% of respondents working in one hospital from rural area. The majority of the respondents (84%, 79/94) offered contraceptives, but involving the community members was rarely practiced by the respondents (55.9%, 53/94). Similarly, just over half the respondents (54.3%, 51/94) have never used Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) for treatment of unsafe abortion complications. Conclusion The majority of the respondents were knowledgeable about PAC and there was no significant difference in knowledge between midwives and other nurses. Midwives and nurses reported poor use of MVA and misoprostol in the management of unsafe abortion complications.