Asian Nurs Res.  2018 Sep;12(3):223-230. 10.1016/j.anr.2018.08.007.

Effects of a Community Outreach Program for Maternal Health and Family Planning in Tigray, Ethiopia

Affiliations
  • 1College of Nursing, The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. schae@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nursing, Suwon Women's University, Suwon, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
We examined the effects of a community outreach program for maternal health in Tigray, Ethiopia, on women's knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care, and family planning, and assessed their participation in antenatal care, postpartum checkups, institutional childbirth, and contraceptive use.
METHODS
We recruited Ethiopian women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) in Tigray, Ethiopia. Two villages in Tigray, Kihen and Mesanu, which have similar population sizes and living environments, were chosen as the intervention and comparison groups, respectively. A two-group pretest-posttest design with cluster sampling was employed. We conducted self-report questionnaire surveys using face-to-face interviews. The 2.5-year community outreach program was developed based on Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory. It consisted of mass media use and health education for lay women in the community, along with training of health care providers, including nurses, midwives, and health extension workers, in maternal health care.
RESULTS
The intervention group showed significant increases in knowledge and behaviors regarding maternal health and family planning compared to the comparison group (p < .001). In particular, there was a dramatic increase from 10.8% to 93.5% in the institutional birth rate in the intervention group.
CONCLUSION
The community outreach program and health care professional training effectively improved knowledge and behaviors regarding maternal health in Ethiopian women. Mass media and interpersonal communication channels for health education may be useful health interventions in developing countries.

Keyword

ethiopia; family planning services; female; maternal health

MeSH Terms

Birth Rate
Community-Institutional Relations*
Delivery of Health Care
Developing Countries
Diffusion of Innovation
Ethiopia*
Family Planning Services*
Female
Health Education
Health Personnel
Humans
Mass Media
Maternal Health*
Midwifery
Parturition
Population Density
Postnatal Care
Pregnancy
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