OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors associated with self-reported pregnancy termination in Ghana and thereby appreciate the correlates of abortion-seeking in order to understand safe abortion care provision.
METHODS: In a retrospective study, data from the Ghana 2008 Demographic and Health Survey were used to investigate factors associated with self-reported pregnancy termination. Variables on an individual and household level were examined by both bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression. A five-point autonomy scale was created to explore the role of female autonomy in reported abortion-seeking behavior.
RESULTS: Among 4916 women included in the survey, 791 (16.1%) reported having an abortion. Factors associated with abortion-seeking included being older, having attended school, and living in an urban versus a rural area. When entered into a logistic regression model with demographic control variables, every step up the autonomy scale (i.e. increasing autonomy) was associated with a 14.0% increased likelihood of reporting the termination of a pregnancy (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Although health system barriers might play a role in preventing women from seeking safe abortion services, autonomy on an individual level is also important and needs to be addressed if women are to be empowered to seek safe abortion services.
KEYWORDS: Abortion; Autonomy; Empowerment; Low-resource countries; Maternal health; Reproductive health
OBJECTIVE: To assess the outcomes and risk factors of adolescent pregnancies in 2 major hospitals in Malaysia.
METHODS: We conducted a case-control study of pregnant girls aged 10 through 19 years. The controls were women aged 20 through 35 years who did not become pregnant in their adolescence. Cases and controls were matched for parity and place of delivery. Data were collected from questionnaires and the hospitals' medical records.
RESULTS: The study included 102 cases and 102 controls. There were significant associations between adolescent pregnancy and low education level, low socioeconomic status, being raised by a single parent, not engaging in extracurricular school activities, engaging in unsupervised activities with peers after school, and substance abuse (P<0.05 for all); being anemic, being unsure of the expected delivery date, and having few antenatal visits and a late delivery booking; and low Apgar scores and perinatal complications.
CONCLUSION: Adolescent pregnancies are high-risk pregnancies. Better sexual health strategies are required to address the associated complications.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of dysmenorrhea, its impact, and the treatment-seeking behavior of adolescent Asian girls.
Method: A cross-sectional study with 1092 girls from 15 public secondary schools and 3 ethnic groups in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Results: Overall, 74.5% of the girls who had reached menarche had dysmenorrhea; 51.7% of these girls reported that it affected their concentration in class; 50.2% that it restricted their social activities; 21.5% that it caused them to miss school; and 12.0% that it caused poor school performance. Ethnicity and form at school were significantly associated with the
poor concentration, absenteeism, and restriction of social and recreational activities attributed to dysmenorrhea. Only 12.0% had consulted a physician, and 53.3% did nothing about their conditions. There were ethnic differences in the prevalence, impact, and management of dysmenorrhea.
Conclusion: There is a need for culture-specific education regarding menstruation-related conditions in the school curriculum.
To evaluate the 50-g glucose challenge test (GCT) on pregnancy outcome in a multiethnic Asian population at high risk for gestational diabetes (GDM).
GCT was positive if the 1-hour plasma glucose level was >or=7.2 mmol/L. GDM was diagnosed by a 75-g glucose tolerance test using WHO (1999) criteria. Of the 1368 women enrolled in the study, 892 were GCT negative, 308 were GCT false-positive, and 168 had GDM. Pregnancy outcomes were extracted from hospital records. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed with GCT negative women as the reference group.
GCT false-positive status was associated with preterm birth (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.7) and postpartum hemorrhage (AOR 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0-2.7). GDM was associated with labor induction (AOR 5.0; 95% CI, 3.3-7.5), cesarean delivery (AOR 2.2; 95% CI, 1.6-3.2), postpartum hemorrhage (AOR 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.7), and neonatal macrosomia (AOR 2.5; 95% CI, 1.0-6.0).
GCT false-positive women had an increased likelihood of an adverse pregnancy outcome. The role and threshold of the GCT needs re-evaluation.
This paper aims to highlight the importance of aspiring to achieve universal reporting of maternal deaths as a part of taking responsibility for these avoidable tragedies. The paper first discusses the reasons for reporting maternal deaths, distinguishing between individual case notification and aggregate statistics. This is followed by a summary of the status of reporting at national and international levels, as well as major barriers and facilitators to this process. A new framework is then proposed - the REPORT framework, designed to highlight six factors essential to universal reporting. Malaysia is used to illustrate the relevance of these factors. Finally, the paper makes a Call to Action by FIGO to promote REPORT and to encourage health professionals to play their part in improving the quality of reporting on all maternal deaths - not just those directly in their care.
The end of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era was marked in 2015, and while maternal and child mortality have been halved, MGD 4 and MDG 5 are off-track at the global level. Reductions in neonatal death rates (age <1 month) lag behind those for post-neonates (age 1-59 months), and stillbirth rates (omitted from the MDGs) have been virtually unchanged. Hence, almost half of under-five deaths are newborns, yet about 80% of these are preventable using cost-effective interventions. The Every Newborn Action Plan has been endorsed by the World Health Assembly and ratified by many stakeholders and donors to reduce neonatal deaths and stillbirths to 10 per 1000 births by 2035. The plan provides an evidence-based framework for scaling up of essential interventions across the continuum of care with the potential to prevent the deaths of approximately three million newborns, mothers, and stillbirths every year. Two million stillbirths and newborns could be saved by care at birth and care of small and sick newborns, giving a triple return on investment at this key time. Commitment, investment, and intentional leadership from global and national stakeholders, including all healthcare professionals, can make these ambitious goals attainable.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence and association of frequently used screening risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and to compare the validity and cost of universal screening with risk factor screening.
METHOD: A cross-sectional survey of 768 pregnant women at > or = 24 weeks' gestation who were attending the antenatal clinic at the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) was made. Risk factors were determined using a questionnaire. An abnormal oral glucose tolerance test was defined as a 2-h post-prandial blood sugar level of > or = 7.8 mmol/l.
RESULTS: A total of 191 pregnant mothers (24.9%) had GDM. The most commonly identified screening factors were positive family history of diabetes mellitus (31.4%), history of spontaneous abortion (17.8%), vaginal discharge and pruritus vulvae in current pregnancy (16.0%), and maternal age greater than 35 years (14.7%). Five hundred and thirteen mothers (66.8%) had at least one risk factor. All screening risk factors, except past history of diabetes mellitus in previous pregnancy and maternal age, were not significantly associated with abnormal glucose tolerance (GT). Risk factor screening gave a sensitivity of 72.2% and a specificity of 35.0%. Universal screening would cost RM 12.06 while traditional risk factor screening would cost RM 11.15 per identified case and will have missed 53 of the 191 cases.
CONCLUSIONS: Risk factor screening scored poorly in predicting GDM. Cost analysis of universal compared with traditional risk factor screening showed a negligible difference. Thus universal screening appears to be the most reliable method of diagnosing GDM.