Knowledge and perception of birth and emergency preparedness among pregnant adolescents in Ndola district, Zambia.

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Kachimba, Juness
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The University of Zambia
The risk of maternal mortality and complications in pregnancy is highest for adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa and is a leading cause of death among adolescent girls. In Zambia, adolescent pregnancy rate is high and stands at 28.5% and maternal mortality rate is at 398 per 100 000 live births. Despite adolescents’ high risk for pregnancy-related complications antenatal care (ANC) uptake is believed to be low among adolescents as they start attending antenatal care late or never. Studies have shown that most adolescents do not attend the recommended ANC visits hence missing out on birth and emergency preparedness (BEP) messages. The objective of this study was to determine the levels of knowledge and perception of birth and emergency preparedness among pregnant adolescents in Ndola District, Zambia. A descriptive cross-sectional study that employed a quantitative approach was conducted in four (4) urban Health Centres in Ndola District, Zambia between October and November, 2018. A total of 124 pregnant adolescents aged between 10 to 19 years were selected by simple random sampling method. A semi-structured interview schedule was employed for data collection. Pregnant adolescents were interviewed one at a time. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24.0, Excel and Stata version 14 were used for data analysis. Chi-square tests was done to examine associations between variables. P-values < 0.05 was considered significant at 95% confidence level. Overall, 66.13% of the pregnant adolescents had low levels of knowledge of Birth and Emergency Preparedness, 33.87% had medium knowledge, and unfortunately none among pregnant adolescents had high levels of knowledge of BEP. About perception 74.2% of the pregnant adolescent mothers had a positive perception of BEP. ANC visits, parity and BEP key components were the predictors for knowledge and perception of BEP among adolescents as they had statistical significant association with BEP (p-value =0.001, 0.014 and ˂0.0001) respectively. Knowledge of BEP in the study area was found to be low among pregnant adolescents. It would have been preferred that majority were knowledgeable of BEP. There is need for corrective measures to address the low levels of knowledge of BEP among pregnant adolescents to help reduce neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality burden in the country.
Thesis of Master of Science in Midwifery, Women’s and Child Health