Women’s perspectives on prevention measures of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus at the Antenatal Clinic, Kawempe National Referral Hospital.
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Introduction: Globally, diabetes in pregnancy is a neglected cause of maternal morbidity with one in every six pregnancies being affected by GDM. This condition is among the predisposing factors of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of GDM varies worldwide from 1% to 28% depending on population characteristics, diagnostic measurement and screening methods, with South East Asia having the highest prevalence (24.2%) followed by Africa (14%). The prevalence of GDM in Uganda is unclear due to limited studies carried out on to assess its prevalence in the country. A surprisingly high frequency of 31.9% of hyperglycaemia in a population of pregnant women receiving healthcare at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital in Uganda was registered. A study conducted in Mulago hospital showed that gestational diabetes existed in Uganda and was associated with adverse maternal and foetal outcomes. These included vaginal candidiasis, genital injuries, obstructed labour, macrocosmic babies, still born, increased risk of developing T2DM and shoulder dystocia. Objective: the objective of the study was to explore women’s perspectives on prevention measures of GDM at the Antenatal clinic, Kawempe National Referral Hospital. Method: A qualitative exploratory cross sectional study was conducted among 10 pregnant women at the antenatal clinic of KNRH. Study participants were purposively sampled, consented and interviewed while recording the interviews. Audio recordings were later translated and transcribed directly and analysed using qualitative content analysis. 10 Results: Findings of this study showed that women’s views on prevention measures of GDM Included diet monitoring, body exercise and monitoring body and changes plus being aware of such changes. Additionally, women reported physiological body changes, financial instabilities, little family support, stress, poor accessibility to health facilities and lack of awareness for GDM as some of the challenges pregnant women would face in trying to prevent themselves from getting GDM. Conclusion: Pregnant mothers are at a risk of acquiring gestational diabetes mellitus which is highly prevalent and is associated with increased risk of pregnancy and delivery complications. Identification of the challenges and their respective solutions is key in solving of health challenges. Consuming nutritious foods and doing of body exercises is needed in maintaining and promoting of maternal health before and after delivery.