Identifying Obstetrical Emergencies at Kintampo Municipal Hospital: a perspective from Pregnant Women and Nursing Midwives

Brenda Oiyemhonlan, Emilia Udofia, Damien Punguyire


A hospital based cross-sectional qualitative study was conducted at Kintampo Municipal Hospital in Northern Ghana, to identify obstetric emergencies and barriers to emergency care seeking; examine the perspective of midwives regarding their role in maternity care and management of obstetric emergencies, and explore women’s knowledge and response to obstetric emergencies. Study subjects comprised of 2 emergency obstetric cases, 29 antenatal focus group discussants and 5 midwives at the maternity unit. Data was collected from 23rd March to 9th April, 2012 using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and record reviews. The most common obstetric emergencies were hemorrhage, eclampsia and anemia. Potential obstetric complications were poorly understood by antenatal women and known barriers limited access to emergency obstetric care. Service challenges included insufficient staffing and well as inadequate equipment and physical space in the maternity ward. Local community efforts can address communication and service access gaps. Government intervention is required to address service provision gaps for improved maternity care in Kintampo (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 129-140).


Nous avons mené une étude qualitative transversale auprès  d’un hôpital  municipal à Kintampo au nord du Ghana, afin  d’identifier les urgences obstétricales et les obstacles a la recherche de soins d'urgence ; pour étudier le point de vue des sagesfemmes au sujet de leur rôle dans les soins de maternité et dans la gestion des urgences obstétricales, et pour explorer les connaissances des femmes et la réponse aux urgences obstétricales. Les sujets d'étude comprennent 2 cas obstétricaux d'urgence, 29 commentateurs de groupes de discussion cible prénatals et 5 sages-femmes qui travaillent à la maternité. Les données ont été recueillies à partir du 23 mars au 9 avril, 2012 à l’aide  des entrevues en profondeur, groupes de discussion cible et l'examen des dossiers. Les urgences obstétricales les plus courantes étaient l'hémorragie, l'éclampsie et l'anémie.  Les complications obstétricales  potentielles ont été mal comprises par les femmes enceintes et les obstacles connus ont  limité l’accès aux soins obstétricaux d'urgence.   Les défis auxquels font face les services comprennent le manque de personnel ainsi que d’équipements et l'espace physique  dans la maternité. Les efforts des communautés locales peuvent combler les lacunes d'accès à la communication et au service. L'intervention du gouvernement est nécessaire pour combler les lacunes dans la dispensation de services pour permettre l’amélioration de soins de maternité à Kintampo. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 129-140).


Keywords: Obstetric complications, maternal mortality, rural, Ghana

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