Tanzania is among the countries with a high maternal mortality ratio. However, it remains unclear how information and education on danger signs of pregnancy translate into appropriate actions when a woman recognizes danger signs. This study aimed to determine women’s knowledge of obstetric danger signs during pregnancy and their subsequent healthcare seeking actions.
The study design was a health facility-based cross-sectional study. Quantitative data were collected through interviewer-administered questionnaires. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The study enrolled 384 women from two health centers in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A woman who had not mentioned any danger sign was categorized as having no knowledge, mentioned one to three danger signs as having low knowledge, and mentioned four or more danger signs as having sufficient knowledge.
Among the 384 participants, 67 (17.4%) had experienced danger signs during their pregnancy and reported their healthcare seeking actions after recognizing the danger signs. Among those who recognized danger signs, 61 (91%) visited a healthcare facility. Among the 384 participants, five (1.3%) had no education, 175 (45.6%) had primary education, 172 (44.8%) had secondary education, and 32 (8.3%) had post-secondary education as their highest educational levels. When asked to spontaneously mention the danger signs, more than half of the participants (n = 222, 57.8%) were able to mention only one to three danger signs. Only 104 (31%) had correct knowledge of at least four danger signs and nine (2.7%) were not able to mention any item. The most commonly known pregnancy danger signs were vaginal bleeding (81%); swelling of the fingers, face, and legs (46%); and severe headache (44%). Older women were 1.6 times more likely to have knowledge of danger signs than young women (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.05-2.46)”.
Women took appropriate healthcare seeking action after recognizing danger signs during pregnancy. However, the majority had low knowledge of pregnancy danger signs. Additional studies are warranted to address the knowledge gap and to plan interventions for improving health education under limited resource settings.
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- Knowledge of danger signs during pregnancy and subsequent healthcare seeking actions among women in Urban Tanzania: a cross-sectional study
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