Birth preparedness and skilled attendance at birth in Nepal: implications for achieving millennium development goal 5
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Objective: To assess birth preparedness in expectant mothers and to evaluate its association with skilled attendance at birth in central Nepal.Design: A community-based prospective cohort study using structured questionnaires. Setting: Kaski district of Nepal. Participants: A total of 701 pregnant women of more than 5 months gestation were recruited and interviewed, followed by a second interview within 45 days of delivery.Measurements: Outcome was skilled attendance at birth. Birth preparedness was measured by five indicators: identification of delivery place, identification of transport, identification of blood donor, money saving and antenatal care check-up.Findings: Level of birth preparedness was high with 65% of the women reported preparing for at least 4 of the 5 arrangements. It appears that the more arrangements made, the more likely were the women to have skilled attendance at birth (OR=1.51, p<0.001). For those pregnant women who intended to save money, identified a delivery place or identified a potential blood donor, their likelihood of actual delivery at a health facility increased by two to three fold. However, making arrangements for transportation and antenatal care check-up were not significantly associated with skilled attendance at birth.Conclusions: Intention to deliver in a health-care facility as measured by birth preparedness indicators was associated with actual skilled attendance at birth. Birth preparedness packages could increase the proportion of skilled attendance at birth in the pathway of meeting the Millennium Development Goal 5.
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