Prevalence and Predictors of Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy in South-Eastern Nigeria QC10-QC13
Dr. Emmanuel Onyebuchi Ugwu,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine,
University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu-400001, Nigeria.
Introduction: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a major public health problem because of the enormous deleterious effects on a developing fetus. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is among the highest per capita rates of alcohol consumption in the world, thus suggesting a high burden of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) in the sub-region. Despite this, there is limited data on alcohol exposed pregnancies for most SSA countries including Nigeria.
Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of alcohol consumption during pregnancy in Enugu, South-Eastern Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study of 380 consecutive consenting parturients accessing antenatal care at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. The information sought for, included the women’s socio-demographic characteristics, alcohol use in pregnancy, awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol on the babies including FASD, sources of initial information on awareness, type and quantity of alcohol ingested, reasons for taking alcohol and willingness to stop alcohol ingestion in pregnancy after counseling on the risk of alcohol use in pregnancy. Statistical analysis was both descriptive and inferential at 95% confidence level. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The prevalence of alcohol consumption in pregnancy was 22.6%. The most common brand of alcoholic beverage consumed was stout beer (62.8%, 54/86). A total of 135 (35.5%) respondents were aware that alcohol is harmful to the fetus. Maternal age 30 years or less, nulliparity, less than tertiary education, pre-pregnancy alcohol consumption and lack of awareness of the harmful effect of alcohol on the fetus, were associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy (p< 0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy among women in Enugu, South-Eastern Nigeria is high and lack of awareness of harmful effect of alcohol on fetus was a major predictor. There is need for a concerted public health campaign to improve the awareness of harmful effects of alcohol on the fetus.