Factors Associated With Men’s Level of Awareness of Obstetric Danger Signs, Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness in Mparo Town Council, Rukiga District

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Background: Child birth is a special moment for parents, families and communities but also a time of intense vulnerability . (Wassihun and Zeleke, (2018) .In many developing countries including Uganda, maternal morbidity and mortality still pose a substantial burden. Raising awareness of men about the danger signs of pregnancy and childbirth is the first essential step in appropriate and timely obstetric care . (Bogale, D., Markos, D. 2015). Awareness of obstetric danger signs facilitates men in making a joint decision with their partners regarding accessing antenatal and delivery care.. Men play a central role in deciding and influencing positive actions to support their spouses during pregnancy, labour and delivery (August, F., Pembe, A. B., Mpembeni, R., Axemo, P., & Darj, E. (2015) Objective: This study aimed at determining factors associated with men's level of awareness of obstetric danger signs, birth preparedness and complication readiness in Mparo Town Council, Rukiga district. Methodology: This was a cross sectional study that enrolled 384 eligible husbands to women that delivered within the past one year from Mparo health centre IV, in Mparo Town Council, Rukiga District, Uganda. The men were interviewed using a structured English questionnaire (also translated in Rukiga) with closed and open ended questions. Systematic random sampling method was used to select the men to be interviewed. Descriptive and inferential analysis was done and associations between independent and dependent variables were computed. Results: Of the 384 men who were interviewed, 365 (95%) had attended ANC with their spouses at least once and 226 (59%) made four or more visits. Mean age was 26.8 and majority had two or more children. Awareness of danger signs was low 119(31%); commonly mentioned danger signs were vaginal bleeding 311 (81.2%), swelling of fingers, face and legs 177 (46.3%) and severe headache with blurred vision 167 (43.6%). In bivariate analysis age, education and occupation were associated with awareness on obstetric danger signs, birth preparedness and complication readiness (P≤0.05). In multivariate logistic regression, age and occupation were statistically significant associated with awareness of obstetric danger signs. Being older in age was eight times more likely (OR 8.1; CI 1.6- 42) to have an influence on awareness of obstetric danger signs compared to young ones (≤20 years); self-employed men were two times more likely (OR=1.9; CI; 1.1-3.3) to have awareness on danger signs compared to being employed. Of the 69 (17.9%) men who reported a danger sign in the last wife’s pregnancy, 51 (75 %) took appropriate health seeking action. Conclusion: Awareness of obstetric danger signs, birth preparedness and complication readiness is low. Key words: awareness, Danger signs, Pregnancy, Birth preparedness, Complication readiness, Health seeking actions