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Knowledge and Myths about Preeclampsia and Eclampsia and its Influence on Antenatal Service Utilization among Pregnant Women and their Male Partners in Mtwara Regional - Tanzania: A Cross Sectional Analytical Study

Author(s): Aziza S Machenje, Stephen M Kibusi, Nyasiro Gibore, Athanase Lilungulu, Fabiola V Moshi

Background: Pregnancy induced hypertension, including preeclampsia and eclampsia are the major health problem and the main cause of the maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in Tanzania. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge and myths about preeclampsia and eclampsia and its influence in Antenatal Clinics (ANC) utilization among pregnant women and their male partiners in Mtwara region.

Method: A community based cross-sectional analytical study conducted in Mtwara Region, a random sampling procedure was employed to obtain a sample size of 384 pregnant women and their male partners a total of 768 participants (male=384 and female =384). Interviewer structured questionnaire was used for data collection and Statistical package for social science (SPSS v.20) software was used for data entry and analysis. Descriptive statistics, cross tabulation, Principal component analysis (PCA) were conducted and inferential statistics was used to test association between variables obtained.

Results: Among 768 participants, male partners 167(43.5%) and pregnant women 171 (44.5%) had adequate knowledge on preeclampsia and eclampsia. More than a half 396(51.6%) of study respondents had weak myths while 372(48.4%) had strong myths on pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. Furthermore, pregnant women 244 (64%) had adequate antenatal care utilization. Study participants who had adequate knowledge on pre-eclampsia and eclampsia were almost 3 times more likely to utilize antenatal care services (AOR = 2.827; CI = 1.719 – 4.651; p<0.001). Study participants who had weak myth on pre-eclampsia and eclampsia were less likely to have adequate antenatal care attendance ( (AOR= 0.370; CI= 0.229; p< 0.001).

Conclusion: The overall knowledge on preeclampsia and eclampsia was low. Majority of the female had adequate antenatal service utilization. Majority of respondents had weak myths. Government and stakeholders should ensure that community is equipped with knowledge about preeclampsia and eclampsia and the available Myths should be dispelled.

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