Beliefs about Food Supplement among Pregnant Women in Apatrapa Community Health Center, Ghana. (Using the Beliefs about Medicine questionnaire – BMQ)


End date: 30 June, 2015 Project type: BSU Students' Master Thesis Project code: mhh-1D1 BSU Countries: Ghana Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Project coordinator: Andrew Kofi Darkwa

Project summary

Background: Malnutrition is a risk factor for poor pregnancy outcomes and almost all diseases. Most pregnancies demand high nutrition and pregnant women in developing countries are malnourished, which puts them at risk to child and maternal mortality or birth complications. Objective: To assess the self-reported use of food supplement and associations to socio-demographic characteristics, health beliefs and patterns among pregnant women in the Apatrapa Community Health Center, Ghana. Methodology: The 254 eligible pregnant women were on their second or more visits to the ANC or previously had children and handled the food supplements prescribed to them at home. Interviews conducted were based on a structured edited version of the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire (BMQ) to assess the pregnant women’s beliefs about food supplements through convenience sampling. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test and odds ratio were used at 95% confidence interval to assess the data obtained, whereby the level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: The mean age of pregnant women was 30 years, ranging from (16-44years). All 254 pregnant women (100%) reported taking the food supplements.  Majority of pregnant women were given multivitamins, folic acid and ferrous fumerate free of charge and sometimes vitafol at the ANC. Adherence for all four were high. 54% worried about the food supplements in general and 43% worried about ferrous fumerate. 76% of participants thought folic acid is the most important supplement. 25% of respondents were taking additional supplements. 57% sometimes forgot to take the supplements at times and 54% also reported about the supplements as being a mystery to them. Age, family size, number of children and general health had statistically significant effect on pregnant women’s beliefs on worry about supplements [(p< 0.05)]. Conclusion: Although the majority of pregnant women had positive beliefs about the food supplements and were adhering to their medication, over half of them, 54% had strong concerns. Most respondents reported of supplements being mystery and were combining herbal medicine and others with their medication. There should be activities for midwives and other care givers to educate pregnant women about the food supplement with regards to pregnancies.

Go back to all projects