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Authors: Akum, F. A.
Azongo, T. B.
Keywords: Preterm
Bawku Municipality
recognition of preterm birth
health seeking behaviour
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: International Journal of Advanced Research and Publications
Series/Report no.: Vol. 1;Issue 4
Abstract: Neonatal mortality has remained astronomically high globally and most of these deaths are from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Preterm birth is associated with a higher risk of neonatal deaths and accounts for about 31% of neonatal deaths in Ghana. The objective of the study was to explore the perceived causes, knowledge and health-seeking behaviour of preterm birth among community members in Bawku Municipality of Ghana.A total of 11 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with the following study participants: women groups (n = 6) and men groups (n = 5) making a total of 67 participants. In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) were also conducted for 50 participants comprising mothers of preterm newborns (n = 21), Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) (n = 9), Grandmothers of preterm babies (n = 13) and grandfathers of preterm babies (n = 7) using discussion guide.Recognition of preterm/baby included a baby born with gestational age less than 9 months, low weight (baby born with weight less than 2.50kg), frail and skinny, floppy, lack of eyelashes and nails, transparent body among others. Perceived causes were teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions, weak sperms of men, prolonged use of family planning method, extra marital sex by the father and witchcraft. Severe signs or symptoms which pose the critical need for care seeking prompts parents/caregivers to seek health care for their preterm babies such as convulsions, lethargy, severe diarrhoea and vomiting, localized infections and refusal to suck.The study participants were able to recognise preterm babies with various descriptions and reiterated that prematurity was a major health challenge which needed holistic care. Most study participants are aware of some of the causes of preterm births but the belief in supernatural causes was pervasive. Stepping up a sustained health education campaign on preterm birth in health facilities and communities is therefore strongly recommended.
ISSN: 2456-9992
Appears in Collections:School of Allied Health Sciences

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