“What you are asking is not what we are told to prepare’’: A communitybased study of Birth preparedness and complication readiness among postpartum women in a rural district, northern Tanzania

Author(s): Minael G. Mjemmas, Edwin J. Shewiyo, Ester J. Diarz, Patricia Swai, Beatrice J. Leyaro, Sia E. Msuya.


This study aimed to assess knowledge and practice of birth preparedness and complication readiness among women in a rural district, northern Tanzania.


A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in July 2019, among women who delivered in the 24 months prior to the study. A validated maternal neonatal program JHPIEGO tool was translated, modified and used for data collection through face-to-face interviews. Results:

A total of 372 women participated; the mean age was 28.5 (S.D 7.1) years. Among these, 93.3% reported they were counseled on BPCR plan. A majority (96%) were counseled to prepare birth materials, 26.9% to prepare money, 13.2% counseled to prepare transport and 1.1% informed on choosing birth attendant. (95.7%) prepared birth materials (clothes, gloves), 30.1% prepared money, 8.1% prepared transport and 2.7% prepared blood donors. Only 13.7% of the women prepared ≥3 components of BPCR plan. Counseling for danger signs during pregnancy was associated with having a BPCR plan (p= 0.003). Preparing ≥3 components was significantly associated with postnatal care use (p=0.005), but not with 4+ ANC visits (p = 0.875) or SBA use (p=0.057).


Women are counseled on birth preparedness but not on components that can save lives in case of complications. The need to change counseling on birth preparedness plan is required.

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