Awareness and practices of preconception care among women attending antenatal care at Rushere community hospital, kiruhura district
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Preconception care (PCC) has been shown to be effective in improving the health of mothers and pregnancy outcomes in developed countries. The aim of this study was therefore to describe the awareness and practices of preconception care among women attending ANC in Kiruhura district. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study that used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Sample size was 376 women and study area was Rushere community hospital. Results: Three hundred seventy six pregnant women were interviewed. The mean/median age of respondents was 26 years (range 16–45 years). A total of 106(28.2%) respondents were prime gravid; 164(43.6%) multipara, and 106(28.2%) grandmultipara. 59(15.7%) respondents had no formal education while 225(59.8%) had primary school education, 75(20%) had secondary school education and only 17(4.9%) had tertiary education. Awareness A total of 144(38.3%) respondents had heard of preconception care and were referred to as the ‘aware group’. Out of these, 52(36.11%) could correctly define it. The respondents’ awareness of preconception care and their ability to define the subject correctly increased significantly with their educational status. Practice A total of 84 (22.34%) practiced some form of preconception care. Only 70(83.3%) of those who practiced PCC consulted health staff and of these, 22(31.42%) consulted general practitioners and clinical officers, while 48(68.6%) consulted nurses while the other 14(16.67%) respondents consulted traditional birth attendants and their parents. Conclusion: Generally women were not aware of preconception care, especially the forms of medical assessment and screening procedures that are done although there was some awareness in the simple definition and counseling about healthy life style. This study therefore has pointed out that Rushere hospital staff need to think of innovative ways to improve levels of PCC awareness and practice among the general population that it serves.