Determinants of alcohol use among pregnant women at George health centre in Lusaka district, Zambia.

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Simasiku, Virginia
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The University of Zambia
Background: Alcohol is a recognized teratogen in utero because of its potential to cause damage to the brain resulting in developmental, cognitive and behavioral problems including Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Main objective: To explore the determinants of alcohol use among pregnant women at George Health Centre Method: The study adopted a mixed convergent method approach. An analytical cross-sectional design recruited 255 pregnant women from which 24 participated in a descriptive qualitative design collected through four focus group discussions with women who gave a history of drinking alcohol. Descriptive and inferential analyses were drawn from quantitative data, and thematic analysis was used for qualitative data. Data was integrated and interpreted at the discussion for convergence and divergence of results. Results: The results showed that 40.4% of pregnant women consumed alcohol prior to pregnancy recognition and during pregnancy. Significant factors associated with alcohol use included smoking which increased the odds of drinking alcohol 11.24 more times among smokers. Pregnant women’s likelihood to drink alcohol was 63% lower among those of high socioeconomic status (SES) compared to the lower classes. The results also found a behavioral gap between high levels of awareness of harmful effects of alcohol found to 68.6% compared to the high prevalence rate recorded. Conclusion: The prevalence rate of alcohol use is higher than previously recorded for the country. There is a need for assessment, identification, and management of pregnant women attending antenatal care in health facilities. There is greater need for intensifying and contextualizing public health interventions to address alcohol effects on pregnancy among women of reproductive age especially those of low SES residents. Key words: Alcohol use, prenatal, FASD, culture, pregnant women, perceptions.
Alcohol use--Pregnant women. , Alcohol abuse--Pregnant women. , Alcohol use and pregnancy. , Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. , Pregnant women--Alcohol use. , Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders--Prevention.