Perception of registered nurses and midwives on maternal health education in Nigeria

Clementina U. Nwankwo, Chidum E. Ezenwaka


Objective: To assess the views of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives on Maternal Health Education (MHE) and the barriers to its implementation.

Methods: A total of 238 qualified nurses and midwives who participated in Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme (MCPDP) in South-eastern state of Nigeria voluntarily completed the self-administered research questionnaire. To avoid receiving duplicate copies of the questionnaires, all were serially numbered and all personal identifiers were removed. Of 348 participants that completed the questionnaires, only 238 met the inclusion criteria which included experience in antenatal clinics and qualifications in midwifery.

Results: The majority of the study participants (86%) had both nursing and midwifery qualifications and the majority (98%) believed that MHE is beneficial to pregnant mothers particularly in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality (95.3%). A high percentage of the respondents (92%) agreed that MHE should be intensified for pregnant mothers in their work places. The identified major barriers to MHE include attitude of some health professionals (79%), some cultural practices (77%), inadequate economic resources (75%) and insufficient health personnel (71%). 18% of the respondents agreed that the hospital policy of their work places does not promote MHE.

Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that nurses and midwives are aware of the importance of MHE in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. There are still negative perceptions on the preparedness of the healthcare institutions towards MHE coupled with economic and cultural barriers. We recommend integrated MHE in the antenatal care plans of the pregnant woman.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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