Albert Luguterah, Kaku Sagary Nokoe
American Journal of Public Health Research. 2013, 1(5), 124-128DOI:
Abstract: Fetal mortality refers to the intrauterine death of a fetus and is a major, but often overlooked public health issue in Ghana. Due in part to a paucity of knowledge of the incidence, etiology and prevention strategies, much of the public concern on reproductive loss has focused on infant mortality. Effective antenatal care, which must be evidence-based information driven, necessitates regular, updated and reviewed studies on risk factors associated with fetal mortality to help in addressing this phenomenon. In this study, using data of the 2007 Ghana Maternal Health Survey, the incidence and some pre-pregnancy risk factors of fetal mortality were studied using non-parametric procedures. The results showed that the first trimester of pregnancy was the riskiest period, accounting for over 50% of all fetal mortalities in Ghana: The third month, where over 5% of pregnancies are lost, is the riskiest month of pregnancy. Previous pregnancy outcomes, the age and education of the mother as well as her place of residence, were shown to be significantly associated with fetal mortality at the 5% significance level: Particularly, women with a history of abortion and those who have never given birth are over 4 times more likely to lose their pregnancy than their counterparts. The results highlight the adverse effects of the pressures of urban life on fetal survival, as well as the need for early antenatal care and comprehensive care for women who lose a fetus.