Effect of Volunteer Household Counseling in Improving Knowledge of Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness of Pregnant Women in Northwest Nigeria

Gbenga Ishola, Funke Fayehun, Uche Isiugo-Abanihe, Tunde Segun, Samaila Yusuf, Bright Orji, Barbara Rawlins, Emmanuel Otolorin


Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), a program by Jhpiego global, implemented maternal and newborn health project between 2006 and 2010 in Kano and Zamfara States, Nigeria. This was evaluated with an objective to characterize the effects of volunteer household counselors (VHCs) upon improving knowledge of birth preparedness and complication readiness (BPCR) among pregnant women. VHCs were trained to educate women and their families at home about BPCR. Knowledge of BPCR was compared among 152 and 594 women who did and did not receive household counseling. Mothers‘ knowledge of BPCR among those who did and did not receive counseling was 32.2% and 11.2% respectively. Mothers who received counseling had better knowledge of BPCR compared to women who did not (Relative Risk [R.R.] 2.30, 95% [C.I.] 1.50, 3.51, P = 0.0001) in a multivariable logistic regression model adjusting for potential confounders. Mothers who received counseling had better odds of knowledge of danger signs during delivery (R.R. 1.48, 95% C.I. 1.05, 2.09, P = 0.02), and post-partum period (R.R. 1.69, 95% C.I. 1.22, 2.32, P = 0.001), but not during pregnancy (R.R. 1.26, 95% C.I. 0.97, 1.64, P = 0.08), compared with women who received no counseling. VHCs can substantially increase knowledge of BPCR and danger signs among women in Nigeria. (Afr J Reprod Health 2017; 21[1]: 39-48).

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