Send to

Choose Destination
East Afr Med J. 1994 Oct;71(10):661-6.

High-risk pregnancies in urban and rural communities in central part of Ethiopia.

Author information

Department of Community Health, Gondar College of Medical Sciences, Gondar Ethiopia.


A survey was conducted in 13 urban kebeles and 13 rural villages to assess the magnitude of high risk pregnancies. A total of 567 pregnant women were included in the study. Of these, 28.6% were younger than 20 or older than 34 years. Early marriage below the age of 20 were reported by 85%. 21.7% and 22.2% were nulliparous and multiparous women, respectively. 39.2% were illiterate and 42.9% with a very low income. 14.6% gave a history of abortion, 13.1% of infant deaths, 6.3% of postpartum haemorrhage and 1.1% of antepartum haemorrhage. Abnormal height was recorded in 18.5%, Albuminuria in 11.5% and abnormal diastolic blood pressure in 12.2%, where 2.9% and 9.2% were classified as pre-eclamptic and gestational hypertensive. 52.3% were not receiving antenatal care services. Those who had at least one of the risk factors were 85%. The results from this study indicate the need for increased Family Planning services and appropriate training, and use of community health workers.


During 1990-1991 in Ada-a district, Ethiopia, female secondary school students and 2 health assistants interviewed and took height, blood pressure, and urine albumin measurements of 567 pregnant women living in 15 urban kebeles and 293 rural villages. Researchers wanted to determine the extent of high risk pregnancies. 28.6% of the pregnant women were in a high risk age group (i.e., 15-19 years and 35-49 years). 85% married when they were younger than 20. The illiteracy rate was 39.2%. 42.9% had a very low income. 45.1% were either nulliparous or multiparous (5 pregnancies). 13.1% had experienced infant death. 14.6% had had an abortion. 1.4% had a history of still-births. 6.3% had a history of postpartum hemorrhage. 1.1% had suffered antepartum hemorrhage with a previous pregnancy. 52.3% did not receive prenatal care. 11.5% had protein in their urine. 9.2% had gestational diabetes. 18.5% were too short. 12.2% had high diastolic blood pressure. 2.9% had pre-eclampsia, all of whom lived in urban areas. 9.2% had gestational hypertension. 85% of all pregnant women had at least 1 risk factor and therefore were considered as high risk pregnancies. These findings suggest the need for an improved social environment, appropriate training of community health workers, and strengthening maternity services, including family planning services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center