An understanding of maternal knowledge of the danger signs of obstetric and newborn complications is fundamental to attaining universal health coverage. In Northern Ghana, where maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality is high, little is known about the current knowledge level and associated determinants of these danger signs. This study assessed the effect of social behavior change communication (SBCC) package on knowledge of obstetric and newborn danger signs among mothers with children under 24 months of age.
This study used a non-randomized controlled community-based intervention design with pre and post-intervention household surveys in the intervention and comparison communities of the East Mamprusi District in Ghana. The study population were selected using a two-stage cluster sampling procedure.
Only 521 (51.1%), 300 (29.4%) and 353 (34.6%) of the study participants knew at least three key danger signs during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period respectively.
The intervention had a positive effect on maternal knowledge of danger signs. Compared to their counterparts in the comparison communities, women in the intervention communities were about 2.6 times (AOR = 2. 58 [CI: 1.87, 3.57]), 3.4 times (AOR = 3.39 [CI: 2.31, 4.96]) and 2.2 times (AOR = 2.19 [CI: 1.68, 2.84]) more likely to have higher knowledge of danger signs of childbirth, postpartum and neonate, respectively.
Having sought postnatal services at least once was significantly associated with the mentioning of at least three danger signs of postpartum (AOR = 3.90 [CI: 2.01, 7.58]) and childbirth (AOR = 1.75 [CI: 1.06, 2.85]).
There was a significant contribution of social and behavioral change communication as an intervention to maternal knowledge in obstetric danger signs after adjusting for confounding factors such as antenatal and post-natal care attendance. Therefore, provision of information, education and communication targeting women on danger signs of pregnancy and childbirth and associated factors would be an important step towards attaining universal health coverage.