Nutrition knowledge and practices of among pregnant women aged 15-45 years attending antenatal care at Ndejje Health Center Ⅳ in Wakiso district.
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Background: Maternal malnutrition remains unacceptably high across regions in South-central and Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) African region data, between 2000 and 2015, nine countries in Africa had a prevalence rates above 15%. Maternal underweight exceeds 20% in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Senegal while the lowest rates of underweight among women are found in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Togo.(WHO 2011) Maternal malnutrition is a major predisposing factor for morbidity and mortality among African women. The causes include inadequate food intake, poor nutritional quality of diets, frequent infections and short inter-pregnancy intervals..(Desyibelew and Dadi 2019a). This can hence affect pregnancy outcomes in both mother and child and hence proper nutrition education should be provided to influence the level of nutrition knowledge and nutrition practices among pregnant women. Objective: This study was conducted to assess the nutrition knowledge and practices among pregnant women aged 15 to 45 years attending antenatal care at ndejje health center Ⅳ in Wakiso district. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving both qualitative and quantitative methods was used. Quantitative data collected included number of additional meals, number of skipped meals, level of snack and fruit consumption and qualitative data included semi structured questionnaires that assessed nutrition knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women in the study population. Results: The study findings show a very low diet diversity score ranging from 1-5 food groups with no woman having high diversity score and 98.7% women having minimum diet diversity which is <4 food groups of the 9 food groups. Most women consumed starch staples at 100% and legumes, nuts and seeds at 63% with low consumption of eggs, other vegetables milk and milk products at 2%, 20% and 8% respectively. Nutrition knowledge levels were moderate with 46.7% having moderate knowledge and 25.6% having low knowledge. Despite women having knowledge about importance of food during pregnancy at 91.1%, more women could not identify examples of foods in different food groups like iron, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins with only 15.6%, 50%, 61.1% and 46.7% having knowledge about food groups respectively. Conclusion: Level of education was moderate in the study participants. However, women who attained tertiary, secondary education had more nutrition knowledge compared to others hence increasing chances of making informed choices on dietary practices. There was low diet diversity among the pregnant women which is likely to put them at a high risk of nutrition inadequacies which can affect both the mother and fetus due to the high nutrition demands to meet body demand.
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