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Background: Maternal mortality is an enormous public health burden in developing countries of the world. Birth preparedness and emergency readiness is the process of planning for safe delivery and anticipating the actions needed in case of emergencies. When a woman is adequately prepared for normal childbirth and possible complications, she is more likely to access the skilled and prompt care she needs to protect her overall health and possibly save her life and that of her baby. This descriptive study assessed the birth preparedness and emergency readiness of antenatal clinic attendees in a secondary health facility in Awka, South eastern Nigeria.
Methodology: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at Amaku
General Hospital Awka. The data was collected from the pregnant women using semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire.
Findings: The mean age of the respondents was 27.9 years with a standard deviation of 4.5 years. The proportion of the respondents who were birth prepared was 56% as against 6% who were emergency ready. Up to 59.8% of the respondents of gestational age >=20weeks were birth prepared compared to 12.5% of the respondents of gestational age <20weeks (p=0.027). As much as 67.9% of the respondents of parity one to three were birth prepared compared to 46.9% of the respondents who were primiparous and 25% of the respondents of parity greater than or equal to four (p=0.011). Whereas 85% of the respondents knew at least one danger sign in pregnancy, labour and post-partum, 12% knew four or more while 3% were completely ignorant of the danger signs. As much as 97% of the respondents were on routine drugs, 84% had received tetanus toxoid but only 26% had received
malaria prophylaxis (intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine and pyrimethamin IPTsp).
Conclusion: Most pregnant women make arrangements in anticipation of normal delivery but the same cannot be said for emergencies.
Key words: Birth prepared, emergency ready, pregnant women,
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