A survey of preconception care among young female graduates in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria


Background: Young female graduates are mostly young women with pregnancy intentions. Utilization of preconception care (PC) by women will reduce maternal mortality which is very high in Nigeria. The aim of the study was to assess knowledge, perception and practice of PC among female graduates. The study was carried out in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria.

Methods: The study was cross-sectional in design and carried out in the National Youth Service Corps Secretariat, Ibadan North Local Government Area (LGA), Agodi Area, Ibadan, Oyo State. A total sampling of 426 females was done. A structured questionnaire adapted from 3 previously validated instruments was used.

Results: Their mean age was 24.4± 2.6 years. Majority, 344(80.8%) were single and 295 (69.2%) were University graduates. Majority, 354 (83.1%) had never been pregnant. Mean knowledge score was 12.0 ± 4.5 out of 25. Only 41.4% had good knowledge. Mean perception score was 62.2 ± 7.6 out of 77 and 426 (100%) had positive perception. Mean practice score was 2.9 ± 3.8out of 14. Only 21.2% of those intending to be pregnant had good practice of PC. A higher proportion of respondents aged 25-30 years (47.8%) had good knowledge of PC. Older age, 25-30years, was a predictor of good knowledge of PC (OR: 1.5, 95% CI:1.04-2.27). A higher proportion of respondents who had good knowledge of PC had good practice. This was statistically significant. Knowledge of PC was a predictor of good practice (OR: 1.83, 95% CI: 1.10 – 3.06).

Conclusion: Knowledge and practice of PC among young female graduates is poor. Health education intervention on all aspects of PC is needed among these young women.

Keywords: Preconception care, female graduates, youth corps members

Contexte: Les jeunes femmes diplômées sont pour la plupart des jeunes dames ayant des intentions de grossesse. L’utilisation des soins pré-conceptionnels (SP) par les femmes réduira la mortalité maternelle qui est très élevée au Nigéria. Le but de l’étude était d’évaluer les connaissances, la perception et la pratique de SP parmi les femmes diplômées. L’étude a été réalisée à Ibadan, dans le sud-ouest du Nigéria.

Méthodes: L’étude était transversale dans sa conception et réalisée au Secrétariat du Corps de la Jeunesse pour le Service National, Ibadan North Local Government Area (LGA), Agodi Area, Ibadan, Oyo State. Un échantillonnage total de 426 femmes a été effectué. Un questionnaire structuré adapté de 3 instruments préalablement validés a été utilisé.

Résultats: Leur âge moyen était de 24,4 ± 2,6 ans. La majorité, 344 (80,8%) étaient célibataires et 295 (69,2%) étaient des diplômés universitaires. La majorité, 354 (83,1%) n’avaient jamais été enceintes. Le score moyen des connaissances était de 12,0 ± 4,5 sur 25. Seulement 41,4% avaient de bonnes connaissances. Le score de perception moyen était de 62,2 ± 7,6 sur 77 et 426 (100%) avaient une perception positive. Le score de pratique moyen était de 2,9 ± 3,8 sur 14. Seulement 21,2% des femmes ayant l’intention d’être enceintes avaient de bonnes pratiques de SP. Une proportion plus élevée de répondantes âgés de 25 à 30 ans (47,8%) avait une bonne connaissance de SP. L’âge plus avancé, 25-30 ans, était un prédicteur de bonne connaissance de SP (OR:
1,5, IC à 95% : 1,04 -2,27). Une proportion plus élevée des répondantes ayant une bonne connaissance de SP avait de bonnes pratiques. Ceci était statistiquement significatif. La connaissance de SP était un prédicteur de bonnes pratiques (OR : 1,83, IC à 95% : 1,10 - 3,06).

Conclusion: La connaissance et la pratique de SP chez les jeunes femmes diplômées sont faibles. Une intervention d’éducation sanitaire sur tous les aspects de SP est nécessaire chez ces jeunes femmes.

Mots clés: soins pré-conceptionnels, femmes diplômées, membres du corps des jeunes

Correspondence: Dr. Mary O. Balogun, Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. E-mail: mobalogun2004@yahoo.com



WHO. Trends in maternal mortality:1990 to 2015 [Internet]. Available from: https://www.afro.who.int/sites/default/files/2017-05/trends-in-maternal-mortality-1990-to-2015.pdf

Meeting to Develop a Global Consensus on Preconception Care to Reduce Maternal and Childhood Mortality and Morbidity [Internet]. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/78067/9789241505000_eng. pdf;jsessionid=6FA5A2FF62EE6FD14B57086 30EB321C2?sequence=1

Genuis RA and Genuis SJ. Preconception care: the next frontier for improving maternal-child health care. Public Health. 2017 Aug 1;149:57–9. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0033350617301294? via%3Dihub

Dean S, Rudan I, Althabe F, et al. Setting research priorities for preconception care in low- and middle-income countries: aiming to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity. PLoS Med. 2013;10(9):e1001508. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/24019762

Fuehrer L, Buckler E, Bowman E, Gregory T and McDaniel J. Promoting preconception health in primary care. J Am Acad Physician Assist. 2015 Aug;28(8):27–32. Available from: http://content.wkhealth.com/linkback/openurl?sid= WKPTLP :landingpage &an= 01720610-201508000-00004

Nypaver C, Arbour M and Niederegger E. Preconception Care: Improving the Health of Women and Families. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2016 May;61(3):356–64. Available from: http://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27218593

Johnson K, Posner S, Biermann J, et al. Recommendations to Improve Preconception Health and Health Care — United States: A Report of the CDC/ATSDR Preconception Care Work Group and the Select Panel on Preconception Care [Internet]. CDC/ATSDR 55(6). 2006. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5506a1.htm

Mumford SL, Michels KA, Salaria N, Valanzasca P and Belizán JM. Preconception care: it’s never too early. Reprod Health. 2014 Oct 2;11:73. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/25273543

Delgado CEF. Undergraduate Student Awareness of Issues Related to Preconception Health and Pregnancy. Matern Child Health J. 2008 Nov 2;12(6):774–82. Available from: http://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17975718

Charafeddine L, El Rafei R, Azizi S, et al. Improving awareness of preconception health among adolescents: experience of a school-based intervention in Lebanon. BMC Public Health. 2014 Dec 31;14(1):774. Available from: http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral .com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-14-774

Ezegwui HU, Dim C, Dim N and Ikeme AC. Preconception care in South Eastern Nigeria. J Obstet Gynaecol (Lahore). 2008 Jan 2;28(8):765–8. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/19085540

Olayinka OA, Achi OT, Amos AO and Chiedu EM. International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Awareness and barriers to utilization of maternal health care services among reproductive women in Amassoma community, Bayelsa State. 2014;6(1):10–5. Available from: http://www. academicjournals.org/IJNM

Idris S, Sambo M and Ibrahim M. Barriers to utilisation of maternal health services in a semi-urban community in northern Nigeria: The clients2 perspective. Niger Med J. 2013;54(1):27. Available from: http://www.nigeriamedj.com/text.asp?2013/54/1/27/108890

Lawal TA and Adeleye AO. Determinants of folic acid intake during preconception and in early pregnancy by mothers in Ibadan, Nigeria. Pan Afr Med J. 2014;19. Available from: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/19/113/full/

Oranu EO, Ojule JD and Nnah EW. Preconception care in a southern Nigeria tertiary institution. Niger J Med. 24(1):58–63. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25807676

Janz NK and Becker MH. The Health Belief Model: A Decade Later. Health Educ Q. 1984 Mar 4;11(1):1–47. Available from: http://journals. sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/10901981 8401100101

Charron-Prochownik D, Wang SL, Sereika SM, Kim Y and Janz NK. A theory-based reproductive health and diabetes instrument. Am J Health Behav. 2006;30(2):208–220.

Preconception/Prenatal Family Health History Questionnaire [Internet]. 2008. Available from: http://marchofdimes.com/gyponline

Corbet E. Preconception health and wellness: knowledge and attitudes of undergraduate women [Internet]. Colorado State University; 2011. Available from: pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ 88dd/8e5ac 2eab65ca3205888160bfd60b8fdca3a.pdf

Frey KA and Files JA. Preconception healthcare: what women know and believe. Matern Child Health J. 2006 Sep;10(5 Suppl):S73-7. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16775757

Mohaseb MM, Farahat T, Shaheen HE and Mohamed H. Knowledge and attitude of students in Menoufia University, Shebin Elkom city toward premarital care in 2012. Menoufia Med J. 2014;27(2):347. Available from: http://www.mmj.eg.net/text.asp?2014/27/2/347/141706

Tawfik S, Al Azeem A, Taher Elsayed E, et al. Promotion of knowledge and attitude towards premarital care: An interventional study among medical student in Fayoum University. J Public Heal Epidemiol. 2011;3(3):121–128. Available from: http://www. academicjournals.org/jphe

Adeyemo O, Oyenike A, Omidiji O, et al Level of awareness of genetic counselling in Lagos, Nigeria: its advocacy on the inheritance of sickle cell disease. African J Biotechnol. 2007 Dec 31;6(24):2758–2765. Available from: http://academicjournals.org/ journal/AJB/ article-abstract/D7A18D58694

Lane IR. Preventing neural tube defects with folic acid: Nearly 20 years on, the majority of women remain unprotected. J Obstet Gynaecol (Lahore). 2011 Oct 5;31(7):581–5. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/01443615.2011.594917

Saravelos S and Regan L. The Importance of Preconception Counseling and Early Pregnancy Monitoring. Semin Reprod Med. 2011 Nov 8;29(06):557–68. Available from: http://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0031-1293209

Ajayi GO, Popoola AT, Dina T and Okorie N. Pre-pregnancy counseling in Lagos: a report on the first 1,000 cases. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2013;40(3):359–360. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm .nih.gov/pubmed/24283165