Men’s knowledge and awareness about maternal, neonatal and child health care in urban Afghanistan- Descriptive cross sectional study
The status of men’s knowledge and awareness on maternal, neonatal and child health care are largely unknown in Afghanistan and the effect of community focused interventions in improving men’s knowledge is largely unexplored. This study identifies the extent of men’s knowledge and awareness on maternal, neonatal and child health.
This is cross sectional comparative study which was carried out in Kabul city in 2016. Care International’s health program operates to improve maternal, neonatal and child survival’ interventions in majority of communities in mentioned district. The intervention comprises a number of components including improving awareness of family planning, identification of pregnancy, providing antenatal, delivery and postnatal care, newborn care, under-5 child basic assistance in community health care sub centers, referral of complications . In addition, communities are empowered through social mobilization and advocacy on best practices in maternal, neonatal and child health. The study aims to identify men perception pertaining to MNCH care.
Overall men’s knowledge on maternal care was satisfactory, for example, Men preferred a higher age as women are giving birth to their first baby in comparison to women. Agreement that underage marriage poses risks to mothers and their children health is slightly rated higher by men than women. Both men and women knowledge on long term birth spacing methods were minimal or nonexistent. Emphasis on importance of completing Ante Nata Care-ANC was weighed more by women than men. In both gender, less than (5%) knew whether pre term regular contraction is a danger sign of pregnancy. Both genders confirm that husbands are prime decision makers on location the of delivery and seeking reproductively health care services.
Improvement in men’s knowledge in target district is likely. Emphasis of behavior change communications messages should be placed on danger signs of pregnancy, birth preparedness, referrals and on newborn care. As men are prime decision makers on many dimension of family life, these messages may be best directed to men by targeting informal meeting places like market places and mosques.
Keywords: Men’s knowledge, Improving Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH), Women’s reproductive health, Newborn Care, Afghanistan