Family and community support systems for expectant mothers on birth preparedness in Northern Ghana

Mate Siakwa, Solomon Suglo


Background: While maternal mortality ratio in under-developed countries has declined significantly since 1990, much work still needs to be done in addressing inequities to accessing maternal health services by poor, vulnerable and marginalized women. In an effort to improve maternal and newborn health (MNH) services, Community Support System (CmSS) is an approach for community involvement and ownership. The objective of the study includes, this study specifically examined support systems on birth preparedness among expectant mothers attending antenatal clinic at Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted from February, 2016 to April, 2016 among mothers who attended antenatal care at Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select pregnant women for the study. Using structured questionnaires, the women were assessed on the availability of community support systems during pregnancy and childbirth. Data quality was ensured via crosschecks and double entry into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20.01 for analysis. Data were summarized and described using frequency tables. At the 95% confidence interval, a p-value less than 0.05 was statistically significant.

Results: About 74.2% of respondents lacked husbands` company to antenatal clinic and 88.4% received no support from community leadership.

Conclusions: Based on these findings, it is recommended that an emergency response system at the community level to provide emergency funds, transport, and blood donors be put in place and made known to the public.


Birth preparedness, Emergency, Obstetric care, Support

Full Text:



Jones SM, Bogat GA, Ii WSD, Eye A Von, Levendosky A. Family Support and Mental Health in Pregnant Women Experiencing Interpersonal Partner Violence : An Analysis of Ethnic Differences. 2005;36.

Haobijam J, Sharma U, David S. An exploratory study to assess the Family support and its effect on Outcome of Pregnancy in terms of Maternal and Neonatal health in a selected Hospital, Ludhiana Punjab. 2010;(4):137-45.

Iliyasu Z, Abubakar IS, Galadanci HS, Aliyu MH. Birth preparedness, complication readiness and fathers’ participation in maternity care in a northern Nigerian community. Afr J Reprod Health. 2010;14(1):21-32.

August F, Pembe AB, Mpembeni R, Axemo P, Darj E. Men’ s Knowledge of Obstetric Danger Signs , Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness in Rural Tanzania. 2015;1-12.

Ekabua JE, Ekabua KJ, Odusolu P, Agan TU, Iklaki CU, Etokidem AJ. Awareness of birth preparedness and complication readiness in southeastern Nigeria. ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2011:560641.

Campbell B, Martinelli-heckadon S, Wong S. Motherhood in Childhood. 2013.

Markos D, Bogale D. Birth preparedness and complication readiness among women of child bearing age group in Goba woreda, Oromia region, Ethiopia. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2014;14(1):282. Available from:

Cooke JG, Tahir F. Maternal Health in Nigeria. 2013.

Nawal D, Goli S. Birth preparedness and its effect on place of delivery and post-natal check-ups in Nepal. PLoS One. 2013;8(5):e60957. Available from:

Agarwal S, Sethi V, Srivastava K, Jha PK, Baqui AH. Birth preparedness and complication readiness among slum women in Indore city, India. J Heal Popul Nutr. 2010;28(4):383-91.

Urassa DP, Pembe AB, Mganga F. Birth preparedness and complication readiness among women in Mpwapwa district, Tanzania. Tanzan J Health Res. 2012;14(1):1-7.

Asp G, Odberg PK, Sandberg J, Kabakyenga J, Agardh A. Associations between mass media exposure and birth preparedness among women in southwestern Uganda: a community-based survey. Glob Health Action. 2014;7:22904. Available from:

Crowther S, Hall J. Spirituality and spiritual care in and around childbirth. Women and Birth [Internet]. Australian College of Midwives; 2015;28(2):1-6. Available from:

Mbalinda SN, Nakimuli A, Kakaire O, Osinde MO, Kakande N, Kaye DK. Does knowledge of danger signs of pregnancy predict birth preparedness? A critique of the evidence from women admitted with pregnancy complications. Health Res Policy Syst. 2014;12(1):60. Available from:

Solnes MA, Roggeveen Y, van Elteren M, Shields L, Bunders J, van Roosmalen J. A protocol for a systematic review of birth preparedness and complication readiness programs. Syst Rev. 2013;2(1):11. Available from:

Sunnyvale GO, City DD, Musa A, Amano A. Gynecology & Obstetrics Determinants of Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness Among Pregnant Woman Attending Antenatal Care at Dilchora Referral Hospital. 2016;6(2).

Skinner J, Rathavy T. Design and evaluation of a community participatory, birth preparedness project in Cambodia. Midwifery. 2009;25(6):738-43. Available from: