Background: maternal mortality is a major public health concern in developing countries due to lack of access to quality health care or delays in seeking appropriate aid. In the Philippines, Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has remained persistently high with preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications contributing significantly as its causes. Recently, the Department of Health is on the lookout for its hotspot areas for maternal mortality which includes Passi City, Iloilo. Birth preparedness and complication readiness (BP/CR) is an intervention approach composed of multiple elements that aims to raise awareness about the danger signs of pregnancy and undertake adequate anticipatory measure in case of emergency. However, assessments of BP/CR among women and factors affecting it have not been the focus of study in the Philippines, thus this study was conducted.
Objective: Generally, this study aimed to determine the level of birth preparedness and complication readiness of women in Passi City Iloilo. The specific aims of the study were to explore the associations between knowledge of obstetrics danger signs and perception and birth preparedness with socio-demographic and obstetrics variables among pregnant and recently-delivered women.
Methods: This community-based crossed-sectional study among currently pregnant and recently-delivered women utilized the JHPIEGO safe motherhood population-based survey questionnaire. Socio-demographic information and reproductive history, knowledge of obstetrics danger signs, and perceptions on pregnancy, interview. Collected data was processed and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Inferential conclusions were set at 95% confidence intervals with a significance level of p value <0.5.
Results: A total of 217 respondents participated with most women falling between 16-25 years (43.3%) of age. Among the respondents, married, (54.4%), with secondary level and above educational attainment (88.5%), travel time to nearest facility of 16 minutes and above (34.6%), unemployed (78.8%), parity of 2-4 (54.8%) and having attended antenatal care at least four times (73.3%), were commonly noted. However, only 11 women (5.1%) were able to identify at least three key obstetric danger signs during pregnancy, 1 (0.5%) during labor and delivery, and 9 (4%) during post-poartum. Sever headache (21.2%) was the most common obstetric danger symptom identified during pregnancy, whereas heavy vaginal bleeding was the most recorded response both during labor (17.5%) and postpartum period (32.9%). Poor perception on pregnancy was noted contrast , good perception was noted towards health care Providers with significance relationship between of highest level of education attained and perception of doctor (p=.026) and midwives (p=.008). Saving money (55.3%) the most frequently reported preparation made before child birth. However , none of the respondents were able to identify at least three birth preparation measure thus no respondents are considered well birth prepared.
Conclusion: Level of knowledge and awareness of obstetric danger sign among pregnant women is the study area is low. Women have negative perception on pregnancy but are most positive towards healthcare providers specially towards midwives. BP/CR i n Passi City is low single identified predictor, thus maternal health program should include all mothers regardless of their socio-demographic and obstetric profile. This identified gap in maternal health could be tackled by improving socio-econamic status of women, strengthening community-base maternal health education and emphasis on complete antenatal care attendance and birth plan practices.
Keywords: Obstetric Danger Sign, Birth Preparedness, Complication Readiness.