Factors influencing use of traditional medicine to precipitate labour by antenatal mothers in Mpika District
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Reproductive Health is becoming a great concern to consumers of services, health care providers and policy makers. This is because of the escalating maternal morbidity and mortality some of which can be prevented through consented efforts. Use of herbs to precipitate labour is common especially in rural areas and in most cases may lead to complications like ruptured uterus, severe hemorrhage, birth asphyxia, still births, fetal and maternal deaths (WHO, 1993). The study sought to identify factors influencing use of Traditional Medicine to precipitate labour by antenatal mothers in Mpika District. The research hypothesis was that Antenatal mothers use Traditional Medicine to precipitate labour because of inadequate knowledge on progress of normal labour and dangers of using the herbs. A descriptive quantitative and cross sectional survey was used. A pilot study was conducted at Chilonga Mission Hospital in Mpika District. The research was conducted in five centres within Mpika District which is situated in Northern Province of Zambia and the centers were selected by random sampling. A sample of fifty (50) antenatal mothers attending antenatal clinics from the five health centres was randomly selected. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data which was analyzed manually by using of a scientific calculator. The findings of the study showed that 30% of the respondents have had used herbs to precipitate labour before, 68% knew someone who have had used the herbs to precipitate labour and 44% said they wouldn't tell a health personnel when asked whether they have used the herbs. Of the respondents who had used the herbs, 80% used the herbs to precipitate labour and 53.3% had a quick delivery. The study further revealed that respondents who had low levels of knowledge on labour were more likely to use the herbs. Out of 15 respondents who used the herbs, 53.3% had low level of knowledge on normal labour. The study revealed an association between distance to the health facility and use of herbs. Majority (86.3%) of the respondents who used herbs had to take more than half an hour to reach the nearest health facility. The study further revealed that there is an association between attendance of health talk on normal labour; dangers of using herbs and actual use of herbs. Out of 15 respondents who used the herbs, 60% did not attend any health talk on normal labour and dangers of using herbs respectively. The study findings further showed that there is a relationship between cultural background and use of herbs. Majority (80%) of respondents whose culture encourages use of herbs actually used the herbs.
SubjectLabour (Obstetrics) - Mpika district.
Pregnant women- Mpika district.
Traditional medicine - Mpika district.