PERCEPTIONS OF ANTENATAL CARE PROVIDERS ABOUT ORAL HEALTH OF PREGNANT WOMEN AT THE HOSPITALS OF KARACHI
Background: WHO has recommended a positive pregnancy experience for a healthy mother and her newborn and for achievement of positive motherhood. Oral disease of the mother during pregnancy is an important public health issue due to its prevalence and life course connections with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 200 ANC providers and questionnaires were filled by 100 obstetricians, 65 medical officers and 35 post graduate trainees practicing in gynecological department in twenty hospitals of Karachi.
Results: The results indicated insufficient knowledge among ANC providers about effect of poor maternal oral health on pregnancy and birth consequences. Majority of the participants agreed on importance of oral health during pregnancy even minority was engaged in discussing the importance of dental care or referring them to a dental surgeon. Those participants who had more knowledge about oral health during pregnancy were also seen engaged with their practices.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that in Karachi ANC providers are not well knowledgeable about maternal oral health. The main reasons may be lack of practices guidelines in oral health care during pregnancy, no refresher courses for ANC providers keep them updated. ANC providers seem cooperative to discuss oral health if they are having adequate knowledge in this domain.
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