Malaria causes complications during 80% of all pregnancies in Uganda. However, only 48% of Ugandan pregnant women took one dose of intermittent preventive therapy while merely 27% took the second dose during 2011. This study investigated midwives’ provision of anti-malaria services in the Buikwe District of Uganda.
A quantitative exploratory descriptive design was used.
Prenatal clinics (n=16) in the Buikwe District of Uganda
Questionnaires were completed by 40 (out of a population of 45) midwives.
Midwives’ provision of malaria-preventive services to pregnant women were associated with the midwives’ education level and professional experience as well as by the availability of safe drinking water and drugs for intermittent preventive treatment. Midwives who provided frequent health education to pregnant women, cooperated with village health team members and received in-service training were likely to provide effective anti-malaria services to pregnant women.
Regular audits of midwives’ records should identify strengths and weaknesses related to the prevention of malaria during pregnancy. Relevant in- service education should be provided. Drugs for intermittent preventive therapy and clean drinking water must be available at all prenatal clinics so that pregnant women can take these drugs under direct observation of the midwives.
Implications for practice
Malaria-related health education should be provided during every prenatal clinic visit, and every pregnant women should take two doses of intermittent preventive therapy drugs during every pregnancy (as prescribed by Uganda's Ministry of Health) in order to reduce the reported impact of malaria on 80% of pregnancies in Uganda.
Antimalaria services; Prenatal care; Malaria preventive treatment; Mosquito nets; Malaria prevention in Uganda