Pregnant Women and Alcohol Use in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region

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There are anecdotal claims that problem of alcohol ingestion exists among women in the reproductive years in the Bosomtwe district of the Ashanti Region but there is lack of data to support this. The principal objective of this study therefore was to validate these claims by the assessment of alcohol consumption among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region. The study, a descriptive cross-sectional, was conducted in ten health facilities providing reproductive health care in the district in the months of July to October, 2010 with a sample size of 397 pregnant women. The main findings of the study were that 20.4% of pregnant women drank alcohol even though about three-quarters (78.0%) thought that alcohol had harmful effects in pregnancy. Fifty-seven percent (57.0%) of these (78.0%) did not actually know the possible harm that alcohol could cause on pregnancy. The most preferred drink was Akpeteshie, a locally manufactured distilled alcoholic beverage (36.4%), followed by Ginsing/Kasapreko/Pusher (27.3%). Study participants drank an average of ‘half-tot’ and ‘one-tot’ per a drinking session respectively. Logistic Regression analysis to identify the effects of some socio-demographic variables on alcohol consumption revealed that, Marital status and Religious affiliation were predictive of alcohol consumption, p< 0.10. It is recommended that the DHMT strengthens health education on alcohol at ANC and through the radio as well as the DHMT collaborating with the Ghana Health Service to embark on education of school pupils and students on the harmful effects of alcohol in pregnancy.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology, Kumasi In Partial Fulfilment Of Requirement For the Degree of Master of Public Health In Population And Reproductive Health
Alcohol,, Women, Reproductive years, Fetal alchohol syndrome, Akpeteshie