Hasan IJ, Nisar N.
Womens` Perceptions regarding Obstetric Complications and Care in a Poor Fishing Community in Karachi.
J Pak Med Assoc Jan ;52(4):148-52.

Objective: To assess the knowledge of women about obstetric complications and care. Methods: The study was conducted in a remote coastal community in Karachi in 1999, where the Department of Community Health Sciences of Aga Khan University is operating its primary health care project since 1996. The information was collected using a structured questionnaire, interviewing a representative sample of 329 marriedwomen of reproductive age, selected systematically from the community. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 29 years. On average they were married for 11 years and had four living children. Almost half of them had no antenatal care in their last pregnancy and 75% delivered at home. The findings indicate a poor knowledge of common and serious pregnancy related complications based on their perception related to danger signs. Five percent of the women perceived absent/decreased fetal movement as a danger sign of pregnancy. Other reported danger signs included premature uterine contraction by 3%, premature rupture of membranes by 3%, convulsions by 13%, obstructed labor by 23% and bleeding by 39%. Moreover, the women`s perception regarding obstetric care suggests that unsafe practices prevail: 86% of women thought !hat a case of ante-partum hemorrhage should be examined internally and 50% thought that no precaution is required to sterilize the instrument for cutting the cord. Conclusion: There is a clear need to create awareness regarding obstetric complications through a targeted community based health educational intervention aiming to promote early recognition of the obstetric emergency at the household level and also to create a demand of safe obstetric practices (JPMA 52:148; 2002).

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