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Maternity care and birth preparedness in rural Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Wiegers, T.A., Boerma, W.G.W., Haan, O. de. Maternity care and birth preparedness in rural Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare: 2010, 1(4), p. 189-194.
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Objective: To assess a baseline level of maternity care knowledge of the population and of care providers in rural areas in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Central Asia). Methods: Interviews with pregnant women and with men about their knowledge of key danger signs, serious health problems during pregnancy, labour and childbirth, and knowledge of basic infant care. Questionnaires about maternity care knowledge for providers, and checklists about providers’ communication and counselling skills and about facilities completed by observers. Results: Level of knowledge among the population about possible complications during pregnancy and the postpartum period was low. Physicians in Kyrgyzstan scored an average of 55.2% correct answers on 52 knowledge questions about maternity care. Midwives and nurses in Kyrgyzstan, physicians and midwives in Tajikistan, scored on average less than 50% correct answers. In Kyrgyzstan, in seven out of 15 facilities (47%) staff was permanently available for treatment and referral of patients (24 h a day, 7 days a week). In Tajikistan this was the case in only 2 of 17 facilities (12%). Conclusion: Kyrgyz and Tajik women and men have limited knowledge about possible complications during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period after childbirth. Service providers do not have an adequate professional level of knowledge of perinatal health issues and lack basic skills to monitor their work. (aut. ref.)