A study on the knowledge and attitudes of the women at Kasama Urban clinic about postnatal care
Mundia, Gladys Matakala
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This study was designed to determine the knowledge and attitudes of the mothers at Kasama Urban clinic about postnatal care. It was prompted by the fact that there is low utilisation of postnatal care services, despite the fact that this service is provided freely in Zambia.It was a descriptive study, which was conducted at Kasama urban clinic in Kasama, Northern Zambia. Data was collected by interviewing the respondents using a structured questionnaire. 245 women in the reproductive age group who were selected by random sampling took part ion the study and this figure was arrived at by using the Formula: n=Z^a-P)The findings of the study showed that a large proportion, 147 (60%) of the study participants had knowledge about postnatal care. Of the 147 respondents who were knowledgeable, the larger proportion 133 (90.6%) attended postnatal clinics. This shows a significant association between knowledge and attendance of postnatal clinics (p < 0.001), thereby indicating the importance of knowledge in utilisation of health care services like PNC.The study results also revealed that health workers give adequate information about PNC to the women at the clinic as stated by 219 (89.4%) of the respondents. This is contrary to the assumption that the health workers do not tell the women about PNC.An association was also observed between educational level and knowledge (p<0.001). Those women who had higher education had higher knowledge about postnatal care. This also translated into higher utilisation of PNC among the knowledgeable women as shown by the large proportion, 134 (90.8%) of the knowledgeable women who attended postnatal clinics. This implies that the women who were knowledgeable utilised postnatal clinics because they understood its importance and benefits.The results of the study also revealed that there was a statistically significant association between attendance of postnatal clinics and place of delivery (p<0.001). A large proportion , 126 (85.7%)) of the 147 respondents who were knowledgeable delivered at the hospital, followed by those who delivered at the clinic 11(7.5%) and lastly those who delivered at home 10 (6.8%). This implies that the health workers tell those who deliver at the health facility about postnatal care, thereby dispelling the assumption that inadequate lEC is given to the women by the health workers. In addition a large proportion 134 (92.4%)) of the women who were told by health workers to attend postnatal clinics did attend the clinics. This means that those who delivered at health facilities and those told by the health workers to attend postnatal clinics were more likely to utilise this service because they had knowledge about its importance.The study results also revealed that those women who considered postnatal care to be important and beneficial were more likely to utilise the postnatal clinics. All of the 153 (100%)) study participants who attended PNC considered it to be important and beneficial in that it gave an opportunity directly for the mother and baby's health to be monitored adequately. No significant association (p = 0.066) was observed between knowledge about postnatal care and age group. Of the 147 respondents who were knowledgeable, the bigger proportion, 62 (42.2%) were aged between 25 and 29 years. This is contrary to the assumption that the older women are more likely to be knowledgeable about postnatal care.The number of children the respondents had also did not influence their knowledge about PNC (p = 0.462). This is contrary to the assumption that those women with more children are more knowledgeable about PNC. Additionally, no association (p = 0.417) was observed between attendance of PNC and the welcome given to the mothers at the clinic A large proportion, 236 (96.3%) of the respondents said that they were welcomed cheerfully at the clinic by the health workers. This means that the way the women are welcomed at the clinic alone does not determine their utilisation of this service. This result dispels the assumption that the health workers attitudes hinder the women from utilising postnatal clinics.Fifty seven (57), 45.7%>) of the 87 respondents who had traditional beliefs about the postpartum period did not attend postnatal clinics because traditionally they believe it is not important.The respondents also gave some reasons why they considered PNC to be beneficial and important. Of the 153 study participants who attended postnatal clinics, most of them 150 (98.8%)) said that PNC was beneficial and important because it gave an opportunity for them and their babies to be examined and rule out complications.The respondents gave a description of the type of care that they received when they attended postnatal clinics. A large proportion, 74 (48.4%) of the 153 women who attended postnatal clinics stated that they were only physically examined together with their babies without explanations, lEC and psychological support. From the different descriptions cited by the women, the researcher concluded that the health workers do not give full postnatal checkups to the women, which could be one of the reasons that discourage the women from attending postnatal clinics.The study participants gave reasons why they thought some women do not attend postnatal clinics. A large proportion 100 (40.8%) of the 245 respondents feh that some women do not attend postnatal clinics because they do not know its importance.A variety of suggestions were also given by the respondents on how best to make those women who do not attend postnatal clinics to start attending. A large proportion, 100 (40.8%o) of the 245 study participants suggested that there is need for educating those women about postnatal care and its importance. Recommendations of how to make the women start utilising postnatal clinics and regard this service as important and beneficial have been given.